Tag Archives: Intel processor

Intel Foveros 3D Stacking Technology : A Quick Primer!

Intel Foveros 3D Stacking Technology : A Quick Primer!

The new Intel Lakefield hybrid processors use Foveros 3D stacking technology to create such compact and power-efficient processors.

Here is a quick primer on Intel Foveros, and how it lets Intel stack different components into such a tiny chip!

 

Intel Foveros : What Is It?

Intel Foveros is a 3D stacking technology that basically stacks combines two or more dies into a single package, to offer :

  • Standby power 1/10th of competing designs
  • 50% better graphics performance
  • 40% core area reduction
  • 40% Z height reduction

 

Intel Foveros : 3D Stacking Explained!

Intel Foveros more accurately refers to how they stack the two logic dies, using the Foveros connection.

The Base Die, which consists of logic for audio, USB, USF 3.x and PCI Gen 3 controllers, are manufactured on the Intel P1222 process, which is a 22nm FinFET Low Power process, optimised for low current leakage.

The Compute Die on top has the four Tremont low-power cores, and single Sunny Cove high-performance core, as well as up to 64 Gen11 graphics cores. This die is fabricated on P1274 – their 10 nm process technology.

Intel then stacks up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X memory on top of this Foveros-stacked package using standard Package-on-Package (PoP) stacking technology.

This Intel video shows how they manufacture Foveros packages, and turn them into processors.

 

Intel Foveros : First Used In Intel Lakefield

The first processors to use Foveros is the Intel Lakefield hybrid processors, which stacks two logic dies with two DRAM layers, creating a package that is only 12 cubic mm in volume!

This allows them to create a single-sided compute board that is just 30 x 123 mm in size, with standby power as low as 2.5 mW!

Recommended : Intel Core i5-L 16G7 + Core i3-L 13G4 Hybrid Processors!

 

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Intel Core i5-L 16G7 + Core i3-L 13G4 Hybrid Processors!

More than a year after Intel showcased their Lakefield hybrid processors, they finally launched the Intel Core i5-L 16G7 and Intel Core i3-L 13G4 hybrid processors!

Here is a quick primer on both of these new Intel Lakefield hybrid processors…

 

Intel Lakefield : What Is It?

Intel Lakefield is a new family of hybrid processors designed for ultra-compact mobile devices. Offered as a compact Compute SoC, it promises benefits like :

  • Standby power 1/10th of competing designs
  • 50% better graphics performance
  • 40% core area reduction
  • 40% Z height reduction

By leveraging their Foveros 3D die stacking technology, Intel Lakefield combines 4 low-power Tremont cores, with a high-performance 10nm Sunny Cove core, and up to 64 Gen 11 graphics cores, into a package that is just 12 x 12 mm in size, and 1 mm thick.

Recommended : Intel Foveros 3D Stacking Technology : A Quick Primer!

 

Intel Core i5-L 16G7 + Core i3-L 13G4 : First Lakefield Hybrid  Processors!

After protracted development, Intel finally announced their first two Lakefield hybrid processors – the Intel Core i5-L 16G7 and Intel Core i3-L 13G4.

They are also officially known as Intel Core processors with Intel Hybrid Technology. Either way, their names are quite a mouthful!

In addition to being the first Intel Core processors using the Foveros 3D stacking technology, they are the first Intel Core processors to :

  • ship with Package-on-Package (PoP) LPDDR4x memory, for reduced board size.
  • feature SoC standby power as low as 2.5 mW – 91% lower than Intel Y-series processors
  • feature native dual internal display pipes to directly support foldable / dual-screen PCs

Both the Intel Core i5-L 16G7 and Core i3-L 13G4 hybrid processors also boast these key features :

  • hardware-guided OS scheduling
    – enabling real-time communication between the CPU and OS scheduler, to run the right apps on the right cores
    – up to 24% better performance per SoC power
    – up to 12% faster single-threaded integer performance
  • AI-optimisation
    – flexible GPU engine compute allows for acceleration of AI-enhanced video stylisation, analytics and image resolution upscaling
  • Intel Gen11 Graphics
    – up to 1.7x better graphics performance, and 54% faster video conversion performance
    – support up to four external 4K displays
  • Gigabit connectivity
    – support for Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Intel LTE solutions

 

Intel Core i5-L 16G7 + Core i3-L 13G4 : Specifications

Specifications Intel Core i5-L 16G7
Intel Core i3-L 13G4
Fabrication Process 10 nm (compute die)
+ 22 nm (base die)
Cores / Threads 1 x Sunny Cove core
4 x Tremont (Atom) cores
Base Clock Speed 1.4 GHz 800 MHz
Single Core Turbo Clock 3.0 GHz 2.8 GHz
All Core Turbo Clock 1.8 GHz 1.3 GHz
CPU Cache 4 MB
Graphics Cores (EUs) 64 48
Max. Graphics Clock 500 MHz
Embedded Memory LPDDR4X-4267 (Up to 8 GB)
TDP 7 watts
CPU TjMax 100 °C
Imaging Support 4K @ 60 fps
– up to 6 cameras (4 concurrent streams)
I/O Support USB 3.1 Type C
PCI Express Gen3
Connectivity Options Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
Intel XMM7560 M.2
Package 12 x 12 x 1 mm, POP BGA

 

Intel Core i5-L 16G7 + Core i3-L 13G4 : Availability

Intel has only announced two design wins for Lakefield :

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold with a folding OLED display – shipping later this year
  • Samsung Galaxy Book S – shipping in June 2020

 

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10th Gen Intel Desktop CPUs : Price + Specifications!

Intel just launched their 10th Gen desktop processors, codenamed Comet Lake-S!

Here are the specifications and price list of all thirty-two 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake-S desktop processors!

 

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : One Step Forward, One Step Back

The 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake actually launched about 8 months ago, as mobile processors.

Built on old 14 nm process technology, they served as higher-powered but less efficient alternatives to the 10 nm Ice Lake processors.

As we pointed out back then, Comet Lake was one step forward, and one step backwards.

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back!

 

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake Desktop CPUs : A Quick Primer

The 10th Gen Intel desktop CPUs, codenamed Comet Lake-S, will feature these highlights or changes :

  • Refined 14 nm process technology
  • Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, with Intel Thermal Velocity Boost (for Core i9 models)
  • Support for DDR4-2933 memory
  • New Intel 400-series chipset with new Socket 1200
  • Thinner die and thicker IHS for better thermal performance

Intel officially announced these Comet Lake-S processors on 30 April 2020 at 6 AM Pacific Time.

 

10th Gen Intel Core i9 : Specifications + Price List

10th Gen Core i9 Cores /
Threads
Base Freq. Single Core
Turbo
All Core
Turbo
Cache Graphics TDP Price
Core i9-10900K 10 / 20 3.7 GHz 5.2 GHz 4.8 GHz 20 MB UHD 630 125 W $488
Core i9-10900KF 10 / 20 3.7 GHz 5.2 GHz 4.8 GHz 20 MB 125 W $472
Core i9-10900 10 / 20 2.8 GHz 5.1 GHz 4.5 GHz 20 MB UHD 630 65 W $439
Core i9-10900F 10 / 20 2.8 GHz 5.1 GHz 4.5 GHz 20 MB 65 W $422
Core i9-10900T 10 / 20 1.9 GHz 4.6 GHz 3.7 GHz 20 MB UHD 630 35 W $439

 

10th Gen Intel Core i7 : Specifications + Price List

10th Gen Core i7 Cores /
Threads
Base Freq. Single Core
Turbo
All Core
Turbo
Cache Graphics TDP Price
Core i7-10700K 8 / 16 3.8 GHz 5.1 GHz 4.7 GHz 16 MB UHD 630 125 W $374
Core i7-10700KF 8 / 16 3.8 GHz 5.1 GHz 4.7 GHz 16 MB 125 W $349
Core i7-10700 8 / 16 2.9 GHz 4.8 GHz 4.6 GHz 16 MB UHD 630 65 W $323
Core i7-10700F 8 / 16 2.9 GHz 4.8 GHz 4.6 GHz 16 MB 65 W $298
Core i7-10700T 8 / 16 2.0 GHz 4.7 GHz 3.7 GHz 16 MB UHD 630 35 W $325

 

10th Gen Intel Core i5 : Specifications + Price List

10th Gen Core i5 Cores /
Threads
Base Freq. Single Core
Turbo
All Core
Turbo
Cache Graphics TDP Price
Core i5-10600K 6 / 12 4.1 GHz 4.8 GHz 4.5 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 125 W $262
Core i5-10600KF 6 / 12 4.1 GHz 4.8 GHz 4.5 GHz 12 MB 125 W $237
Core i5-10600 6 / 12 3.3 GHz 4.8 GHz 4.4 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $213
Core i5-10600T 6 / 12 2.4 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.7 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 35 W $213
Core i5-10500 6 / 12 3.1 GHz 4.5 GHz 4.2 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $192
Core i5-10500T 6 / 12 2.3 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.5 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 35 W $192
Core i5-10400 6 / 12 2.9 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $182
Core i5-10400F 6 / 12 2.9 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 12 MB 65 W $182
Core i5-10400T 6 / 12 2.0 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.2 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 35 W $182

 

10th Gen Intel Core i3 : Specifications + Price List

10th Gen Core i3 Cores /
Threads
Base Freq. Single Core
Turbo
All Core
Turbo
Cache Graphics TDP Price
Core i3-10320 4 / 8 3.8 GHz 4.6 GHz 4.4 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $154
Core i3-10300 4 / 8 3.7 GHz 4.4 GHz 4.2 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $143
Core i3-10300T 4 / 8 3.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.7 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 35 W $143
Core i3-10100 4 / 8 3.6 GHz 4.3 GHz 4.1 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $122
Core i3-10100T 4 / 8 3.0 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.7 GHz 12 MB UHD 630 65 W $122

 

10th Gen Intel Pentium : Specifications + Price List

10th Gen Pentium Cores /
Threads
Base Freq. Single Core
Turbo
All Core
Turbo
Cache Graphics TDP Price
Pentium Gold G-6600 2 / 4 4.2 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 58 W $86
Pentium Gold G-6500 2 / 4 4.1 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 58 W $75
Pentium Gold G-6500T 2 / 4 3.5 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 35 W $75
Pentium Gold G-6400 2 / 4 4.0 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 58 W $64
Pentium Gold G-6400T 2 / 4 3.2 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 35 W $64

 

10th Gen Intel Celeron : Specifications + Price List

10th Gen Celeron Cores /
Threads
Base Freq. Single Core
Turbo
All Core
Turbo
Cache Graphics TDP Price
Celeron G-5920 2 / 2 3.5 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 58 W $52
Celeron G-5900 2 / 2 3.4 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 58 W $42
Celeron G-5900T 2 / 2 3.2 GHz 12 MB UHD 610 35 W $42

 

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The Intel Core Processor Number Guide – What They Mean!

The Intel Core processor number system changes with every generation, including the new 10th Gen Ice Lake and 10th Gen Comet Lake processors!

In this guide, we will share with you exactly what those letters and numbers mean!

10 Generations, 10 Number Systems!

Every Intel Core processor generation varies in how they are numbered. We will go through each generation from the latest 10th Gen Core all the way to the first-generation Core processors.

 

10th Gen Intel Core Processor Number Systems

Even though they are both part of the same 10th Gen Intel Core processor family, the Ice Lake and Comet Lake processors have different processor number systems.

10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Processors

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

This is now a 2-digit number 10 for the 10th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

Instead of three digits, it now uses just two digits, but the concept is the same – the higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general.

For example, the Core i7-1068 is faster than Core i7-1065.

Level of Graphics

Replacing the Product Line Suffix, this gives us a rough indication of the processor graphics’ performance level.

  • G7 : Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 64 Execution Units
  • G4 : Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 48 Execution Units
  • G1 : Intel UHD Graphics with 32 Execution Units

Intel started using this graphics indicator in the 10th Gen Intel Core processor number system, because this will be a major model differentiator.

For example, they announced three Intel Core i5-1035 models, differentiated only by their processor graphics :

  • Intel Core i5-1035G7 : Intel Iris Pro Graphics (64 EUs)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4 : Intel Iris Pro Graphics (48 EUs)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 : Intel UHD Graphics (32 EUs)

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Mobile CPU Features + Specifications!

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake Processors

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • Core i7 : enthusiast class
  • Core i5 : mainstream processors
  • Core i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

This is now a 2-digit number 10 for the 10th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

Instead of two digits that Ice Lake uses, Comet Lake uses three digits, but the concept is the same – the higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general.

For example, the Core i7-10710 is faster than Core i7-10510.

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely-low power (mobile only)

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back!

 

9th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i9 : prosumer class, with the most processing cores
  • i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 9 – quickly tells us that this is a 9th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i9-9900 is faster than Core i9-9880
  • Core i7-9850 is faster than Core i7-9750

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier
  • F : Does not come with processor graphics, requires discrete graphics
  • T : Power-optimised
  • S : Special Edition
  • H : High performance graphics (mobile only)

Recommended : Intel Core i9-9900K Preview – World’s Best Gaming CPU?

 

8th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i9 : prosumer class, with the most processing cores
  • i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 8 – quickly tells us that this is an 8th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-8750 is faster than Core i7-8700
  • Core i5-8500 is faster than Core i5-8400

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • G : Includes discrete graphics on package (mobile only)
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)

Next Page > 5th to 7th Gen Intel Core Processors

 

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7th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 7 – quickly tells us that this is a 7th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-7700 is faster than Core i7-7600
  • Core i5-7Y57 is faster than Core i5-7Y54

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier
  • H : High performance graphics
  • Q : Quad-core processor
  • U : Ultra-low power
  • Y : Extremely low power

 

6th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 6 – quickly tells us that this is a 6th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-6700 is faster than Core i7-6600
  • Core i5-6600 is faster than Core i5-6500

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • H : High performance graphics (mobile only)
  • HK : High performance graphics, unlocked multiplier (mobile only)
  • HQ : High performance graphics, quad-core processor (mobile only)
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)

 

5th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 5 – quickly tells us that this is a 5th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-5700 is faster than Core i7-5600
  • Core i5-5300 is faster than Core i5-5200

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • C : Unlocked LGA1150 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • R : BGA1364 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • H : High performance graphics (mobile only)
  • HQ : High performance graphics, quad-core processor (mobile only)
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

Next Page > 1st to 4th Gen Intel Core Processors

 

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4th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 4 – quickly tells us that this is a 4th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-4900 is faster than Core i7-4800
  • Core i5-4400 is faster than Core i5-4300

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • R : BGA1364 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • S : Performance-optimised model (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • M : Mobile processor
  • MQ : Quad-core mobile processor
  • MX : Extreme Edition mobile processor
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

 

3rd Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 3 – quickly tells us that this is a 3rd Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-3770 is faster than Core i7-3720
  • Core i5-3470 is faster than Core i5-3450

Letter Suffix

This primarily tells us whether it is an Extreme Edition processor or not :

  • X : Extreme Edition processor

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • S : Performance-optimised model (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • M : Mobile processor
  • QM : Quad-core mobile processor
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

 

2nd Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 2 – quickly tells us that this is a 2nd Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-2860 is faster than Core i7-2820
  • Core i5-2700 is faster than Core i5-2600

 

1st Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The lack of a Gen Indicator of 1 tells us that this is a 1st Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-990 is faster than Core i7-980
  • Core i5-660 is faster than Core i5-650

 

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The 10th Gen Intel Core Processor Number Guide!

The 10th Gen Intel Core processor family, now consists of Ice Lake and Comet Lake processors, each with a new and different processor number system.

Let’s take a look at the two new 10th Gen Intel Core processor number systems, and figure out what the letters and numbers mean!

 

10th Gen Intel Core Processor Primer

The 10th Gen Intel Core processor family, confusingly, consists of two distinctly different and separate processor lines.

10th Gen Intel Ice Lake

The 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake processors are the first to be purpose-built for AI applications, with features like :

  • Intel Deep Learning Boost – a new, dedicated instruction set for hardware acceleration of neural networks, which will boost applications like automatic image enhancements, photo indexing and photorealistic effects.
  • GPU Engine Compute – developers can use the GPU, which provides up to 1 teraflops of compute capability, for high-throughput inference applications like video stylisation, analytics and real-time video resolution upscaling.
  • Intel Gaussian & Neural Accelerator (GNA) – a dedicated hardware engine for background workloads like voice processing and noise suppression at ultra-low power.

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Mobile CPU Features + Specifications!

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake

The 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake processors, on the other hand, are an evolution of the last-generation Whiskey Lake processors.

They use the old 14 nm process technology, with these improvements or features :

  • Up to 16% better performance than the last-generation Intel Whiskey Lake processors, never mind 2014 dinosaurs
  • Intel Adaptix technologies – a set of tools that will help Intel’s OEM partners tune their laptop designs for 8% to 12% better performance
  • Support for faster memory – up to DDR4-2666
  • Support for Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back!

 

The 10th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System(s)

Even though they are both part of the same 10th Gen Intel Core processor family, the Ice Lake and Comet Lake processors have different processor number systems.

It’s as if they have two different departments who do not communicate with each other… but I digress. Let’s take a look at their processor number systems, separately.

 

10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Processor Number System

Here is the processor number system for the 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake processors

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • Core i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • Core i5 : mainstream processors
  • Core i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

This is now a 2-digit number 10 for the 10th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

Instead of three digits that Comet Lake uses, it now uses just two digits, but the concept is the same – the higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general.

For example, the Core i7-1068 is faster than Core i7-1065.

Level of Graphics

Replacing the Product Line Suffix, this gives us a rough indication of the processor graphics’ performance level.

  • G7 : Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 64 Execution Units
  • G4 : Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 48 Execution Units
  • G1 : Intel UHD Graphics with 32 Execution Units

Intel started using this graphics indicator in the 10th Gen Intel Core processor number system, because this will be a major model differentiator.

For example, they announced three Intel Core i5-1035 models, differentiated only by their processor graphics :

  • Intel Core i5-1035G7 : Intel Iris Pro Graphics (64 EUs)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4 : Intel Iris Pro Graphics (48 EUs)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 : Intel UHD Graphics (32 EUs)

 

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake Processor Number System

Here is the processor number system for the 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake processors

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • Core i7 : enthusiast class
  • Core i5 : mainstream processors
  • Core i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

This is now a 2-digit number 10 for the 10th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

Instead of two digits that Ice Lake uses, Comet Lake uses three digits, but the concept is the same – the higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general.

For example, the Core i7-10710 is faster than Core i7-10510.

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely-low power (mobile only)

 

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10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back!

Intel just introduced the Comet Lake mobile processors, taking a step forward with its performance, but a step back on its features.

Confused? You should be, after what Intel just did with the 10th Gen family of Core processors…

 

10th Gen Intel Core Mobile Processor Family… Families?

At Computex 2019, Intel shared that they will be introducing eleven new 10th Gen Core mobile processors, which they formally launched just 20 days ago.

Codenamed Ice Lake, these processors are built on the 10 nm process technology, offering better performance with lower power consumption and heat output.

Now, Intel is offering a completely different slew of mobile processors, under the same 10th Gen Core family.

It’s as if they have two different mobile CPU divisions…

 

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake – One Step Forward, One Step Back

Just 20 days after they launched the 10nm Ice Lake, Intel went retro. Reaching back to 2014, they are reintroducing the 14 nm process technology with Comet Lake.

Yes, my friends, Intel Comet Lake will be built on the old, old 14 nm process technology. Ahh, the nostalgia of playing Far Cry 4 and Wasteland 2… Anyone remember them?

Intel Comet Lake – One Step Forward

Now, Intel Comet Lake is no old 2014 mobile processor. Intel made significant improvements, offering significant performance improvements and features :

  • Up to 16% better performance than the last-generation Intel Whiskey Lake processors, never mind 2014 dinosaurs
  • Intel Adaptix technologies – a set of tools that will help Intel’s OEM partners tune their laptop designs for 8% to 12% better performance
  • Support for faster memory – up to DDR4-2666
  • Support for Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity

Intel Comet Lake – One Step Back

On the other hand, Intel Comet Lake processors represent a step backwards too, especially when compared to the Ice Lake processors that were just launched :

  • They are fabricated on the less-efficient 14 nm process technology from 2014
  • Their older UHD Graphics is half as fast as Ice Lake‘s new Iris Plus graphics
  • They do not support Intel Deep Learning Boost that accelerates AI workloads
  • They do not come with the Intel Gaussian & Neural Accelerator (GNA) for background workloads at ultra-low power.
  • Their LPDDR4x memory speed is limited to 2933 MHz, compared to 3733 MHz in Ice Lake.
  • Their DDR4 memory speed is limited to 2666 MHz, compared to 3200 MHz in Ice Lake.

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Mobile CPU Features + Specifications!

 

A New… Old Processor Number System?

When Intel introduced Ice Lake, they announced a new processor number system.

Intel Comet Lake, confusingly, ditches the newly-announced Level of Graphics suffix, and resurrects the U and Y suffixes from the 8th Gen Core processor number system.

 

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake Models + Specifications (U Series)

Intel announced four new 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake mobile processors under the U-series.

They all have a TDP of 15 watts, and support for LPDDR4x-2933, LPDDR3-2133 or DDR4-2666 memory options.

10th Gen U-Series Cores / Threads Cache Base Freq Single Core Turbo All Core Turbo Graphics Graphics Max Freq Nominal TDP
Intel Core i7-10710U 6 / 12 12 MB 1.1 GHz 4.7 GHz 3.9 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.15 GHz 15W
Intel Core i7-10510U 4 / 8 8 MB 1.8 GHz 4.9 GHz 4.3 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.15 GHz 15W
Intel Core i5-10210U 4 / 8 8 MB 1.8 GHz 4.9 GHz 4.3 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.10 GHz 15W
Intel Core i3-10110U 2 / 4 4 MB 2.1 GHz 4.1 GHz 3.7 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(23 EUs)
1.0 GHz 15W

 

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake Models + Specifications (Y Series)

They also announced four new 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake mobile processors under the Y-series.

They all have a lower TDP of 9 watts, with support for only LPDDR3 memory at up to 2133 MHz.

10th Gen Y-Series Cores / Threads Cache Base Freq Single Core Turbo All Core Turbo Graphics Graphics Max Freq Nominal TDP
Intel Core i7-10510Y 4 / 8 8 MB 1.2 GHz 4.5 GHz 3.2 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.15 GHz 9W
Intel Core i5-10310Y 4 / 8 6 MB 1.1 GHz 4.1 GHz 2.8 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.05 GHz 9W
Intel Core i5-10210Y 4 / 8 6 MB 1.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 2.7 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.05 GHz 9W
Intel Core i3-10110Y 2 / 4 4 MB 1.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.7 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(24 EUs)
1.0 GHz 9W

 

Intel Comet Lake : The Last Hurrah For 14 nm?

The Intel Ice Lake mobile processors are definitely technologically superior, which makes Comet Lake an awkward addition to the same 10th Gen Core processor family.

Frankly, the only interesting Intel Comet Lake model is the Intel Core i7-10710U, which offers 6 cores and 12 threads, with 12 MB of L3 cache and a TDP of just 15 watts.

The other Comet Lake models are, arguably, outclassed and overshadowed by their Ice Lake brethren.

We have to say, it’s really sad to see Intel struggle getting their 10 nm process yields up, while AMD is churning out tons of 3rd Gen Ryzen desktop CPUs, Radeon RX 5700 GPUs and even 2nd Gen EPYC server CPUs in 7 nm.

After all, they were once the leaders in chip fabrication technologies, ahead of everyone else by years.

Seriously, guys… let this be the last hurrah for 14 nm on mobile already!

 

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10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Mobile CPU Features + Specifications!

Intel Ice Lake is finally here! Intel just officially launched eleven new 10th Gen Intel Core U-series and Y-series mobile processors!

Here is our primer on the 10th Gen Intel Core mobile processors, codenamed Ice Lake!

 

Intel Ice Lake – 10th Gen, Designed For Thin-And-Light

Codenamed Ice Lake, the 10th Gen Intel Core mobile processors are designed for thin-and-light laptops, including 2-in-1 devices. Here is a quick summary of what’s new…

AI For Mobile Computing

More than just evolutions of previous generations, the 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake mobile processors are the first to be purpose-built for AI in mobile computers. It features :

  • Intel Deep Learning Boost – a new, dedicated instruction set for hardware acceleration of neural networks, which will boost applications like automatic image enhancements, photo indexing and photorealistic effects.
  • GPU Engine Compute – developers can use the GPU, which provides up to 1 teraflops of compute capability, for high-throughput inference applications like video stylisation, analytics and real-time video resolution upscaling.
  • Intel Gaussian & Neural Accelerator (GNA) – a dedicated hardware engine for background workloads like voice processing and noise suppression at ultra-low power.

Greatly Improved Graphics Capability

Some of the 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake mobile processors come with Intel Iris Plus graphics, which deliver double the graphics performance.

Iris Plus graphics will let you game in 1080p, as well as handle 4K video editing and high-resolution photo editing, without the need for a separate GPU.

  • They are the first Intel GPUs to support the VESA Adaptive Sync standard, for a tear-free gaming experience.
  • They are the industry’s first GPU to use variable rate shading for improved rendering performance.
  • They support BT.2020 (also known as Rec. 2020), allowing you to watch 4K HDR video at up to 10 bits of colour.

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back!

 

10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Models + Specifications (U Series)

Intel announced six new 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake mobile processors under the U-series, with TDPs of 15 to 28 watts. These are meant for thin-and-light laptops.

10th Gen U-Series Cores / Threads Cache Base Freq Single Core Turbo All Core Turbo Graphics Graphics Max Freq Nominal /
ConfigUP TDP
Intel Core i7-1068G7 4 / 8 8 MB 2.3 GHz 4.1 GHz 3.6 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(64 EUs)
1.10 GHz 28W
Intel Core i7-1065G7 4 / 8 8 MB 1.3 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.5 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(64 EUs)
1.10 GHz 15W / 25W
Intel Core i5-1035G7 4 / 8 6 MB 1.2 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.3 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(64 EUs)
1.05 GHz 15W / 25W
Intel Core i5-1035G4 4 / 8 6 MB 1.1 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.3 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(48 EUs)
1.05 GHz 15W / 25W
Intel Core i5-1035G1 4 / 8 6 MB 1.0 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.3 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(32 EUs)
1.05 GHz 15W / 25W
Intel Core i3-1005G1 2 / 4 4 MB 1.2 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.4 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(32 EUs)
0.90 GHz 15W

Recommended : The 10th Gen Intel Core Processor Number Guide!

 

10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Models + Specifications (Y Series)

Intel announced a further five new 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake mobile processors under the Y-series, with TDPs of 9 to 12 watts. These are meant for 2-in-1 laptops.

10th Gen Y-Series Cores / Threads Cache Base Freq Single Core Turbo All Core Turbo Graphics Graphics Max Freq Nominal /
ConfigUP TDP
Intel Core i7-1060G7 4 / 8 8 MB 1.0 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.4 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(64 EUs)
1.10 GHz 9W / 12W
Intel Core i5-1030G7 4 / 8 6 MB 0.8 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.2 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(64 EUs)
1.05 GHz 9W / 12W
Intel Core i5-1030G4 4 / 8 6 MB 0.7 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.2 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(48 EUs)
1.05 GHz 9W / 12W
Intel Core i3-1000G4 2 / 4 4 MB 1.1 GHz 3.2 GHz 3.2 GHz Intel Iris Plus
(48 EUs)
0.90 GHz 9W
Intel Core i3-1000G1 2 / 4 4 MB 1.1 GHz 3.2 GHz 3.2 GHz Intel UHD Graphics
(32 EUs)
0.90 GHz 9W

 

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The Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 Server Updates Revealed!

Dell has just announced details of the Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 server updates. Here is a quick primer on the newly-refreshed Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and OpenManage systems management.

 

The Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 Server Updates

The Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 servers will come with new features like Openmanage FlexSelect Manage, and OpenManage FlexSelect Secure.

Both these features will provide greater flexibility in managing and securing the PowerEdge 2019 servers.

Greater Control

FlexSelect Manage offers customers new flexibility in selecting OpenManage Enterprise capabilities to streamline management efficiency.

Enhancements to the Redfish-compliant Dell EMC RESTful API and OpenManage Mobile also gives customers greater control of their server operations and devices.

Customers can reduce time by using fewer steps to maintain server health by 28%, compared to manually retrieving server logs.

Enhanced Security

OpenManage Secure Enterprise Key Manager Scale provides data protection and streamlines the management of self-encrypting drives.

Customers can centrally manage keys for self-encrypting drives to better secure data at both the drive and server level.

Improved Performance and Scalability

The Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 servers are powered by the 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, increasing their performance by up to 40% for core business applications.

 

Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 Server Availability

These new Dell EMC PowerEdge 2019 servers and systems will be available beginning Q2 2019 :

  • Dell EMC OpenManage
  • Dell EMC PowerEdge R940, R740, R740xd, R740xd2, R640, and C6420 servers (with 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors)
  • Other Dell EMC PowerEdge servers like PowerEdge MX
  • Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC with Intel Deep Learning Boost

Also available in Q2 2019 is the Intel Optane DC persistent memory hands-on trials through a Dell EMC customer proof of concept program and Dell Technologies Customer Solution Centers.

 

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Intel Core i9-9900K Preview 2.0 – World’s Best Gaming CPU?

Intel officially announced the Intel Core i9-9900K on 8 October 2018, calling it the world’s best gaming processor. Let’s take a closer look at this flagship member of the 9th Generation Intel Core processor family!

Updated @ 2018-10-23 : Added an Intel Hyper-Threading section, updated the 9th Generation Intel Core processor price list, and corrected some mistakes.

Originally posted @ 2018-10-19

 

The Intel Coffee Lake Processors

The 9th Generation Intel Core processors are based on the same Coffee Lake microarchitecture as the 8th Generation Intel Core processors. When they were first announced last year, the 8th Gen Core processors commanded great interest, because they were the first desktop processors to boast a major boost in performance, thanks to the addition of additional cores.

The 9th Generation Intel Core processors may be based on the same microarchitecture, but Intel repeats the same winning formula – add cores for more performance! All thanks to the Ryzen Effect! So here is basically what the 9th Gen offers over the 8th Gen :

Intel Core i9 : 6 cores, 12 threads >>> 8 cores, 16 threads

Intel Core i7 : 6 cores, 12 threads >>> 8 cores, 8 threads

Intel Core i5 : 4 cores, 4 threads >>> 6 cores, 6 threads

Note : The 8th Gen Core i9 was only available for the mobile platform. The desktop Core i9 was only introduced in the 9th Generation.

 

Intel Hyper-Threading

In the 9th Generation, Intel drops Hyper-Threading in their Core i7 processors for the first time ever. Hyper-Threading is now available only in the Core i9. The Core i7 is now more like the Core i5, with two additional cores.

What Intel has essentially done is split the Core i7 into a higher-end Core i9 line with Hyper-Threading, and a lower-end Core i7 line without Hyper-Threading.

 

9th Generation Intel Core Processor Specifications

There are just three models in the first salvo of 9th Generation Intel Core processors – the Intel Core i9-9900K (US | UK), the Intel Core i7-9700K (US | UK) and the Intel Core i5-9600K (US | UK). Here is a comparison of their specifications :

SpecificationsIntel Core i9-9900KIntel Core i7-9700KIntel Core i5-9600K
CodenameCoffee LakeCoffee LakeCoffee Lake
SocketFCLGA1151FCLGA1151FCLGA1151
Process Technology14 nm tri-gate14 nm tri-gate14 nm tri-gate
Cores / Threads8 / 168 / 86 / 6
Base Frequency3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.7 GHz
Boost Frequency5.0 GHz4.9 GHz4.6 GHz
L2 Cache256 KB x 8256 KB x 8256 KB x 6
L3 Cache16 MB12 MB9 MB
Bus Speed8 GT/s DMI38 GT/s DMI38 GT/s DMI3
Memory SupportDDR4-2666 (Dual Channel)DDR4-2666 (Dual Channel)DDR4-2666 (Dual Channel)
Max. Memory Bandwidth41.6 GB/s41.6 GB/s41.6 GB/s
Processor GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630
- 350 MHz to 1.2 GHz
Intel UHD Graphics 630
- 350 MHz to 1.2 GHz
Intel UHD Graphics 630
- 350 MHz to 1.15 GHz
TDP95 W95 W95 W
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Unboxing The Intel Core i9-9900K

The Intel Core i9-9900K (US | UK) comes in a rather retail box, which is rather surprising since it doesn’t come with a bundled cooler. So what’s inside the box? Let’s find out!

Next Page > The Intel Core i9-9900K Up Close, Performance, Price + Availability

 

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The Intel Core i9-9900K Up Close!

The Intel Core i9-9900K (US | UK) has eight cores that can handle up to 16 simultaneous threads. It has a 4 MB L2 cache and a large 16 MB L3 cache; and supports DDR4-2666 memory.

This new processor has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz, with a Turbo Boost speed of up to 5.0 GHz.. It is an enthusiast-grade desktop processor, which means it is multiplier-unlocked for easier overclocking.

The Intel Core i9-9900K (US | UK) still uses the LGA 1151 socket, but is only compatible with the Intel 300-series chipsets. The new Intel Z390 chipset was released together with it, offering native USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, support for SDXC, and integrated 802.11ac connectivity.

 

Intel Core i9-9900K Performance

We did not have any time to test the Intel Core i9-9900K (US | UK) but Intel shared with us some performance numbers, running on the GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO WiFi motherboard, and using the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card :

CPU Benchmarks
POV-Ray Single-Threaded 612 PPS
POV-Ray Multiple-Threaded 5,554 PPS
WebXPRT 3 Score 284
Graphics Benchmarks
3DMark FireStrike – Overall 24,142
3DMark FireStrike – Graphics 28,177
3DMark FireStrike – Physics 24,854
3DMark FireStrike – Combined 11,405

 

9th Generation Intel Core Processor Price + Availability

The 9th Generation Intel Core processors are available with immediate effect at these recommended consumer prices :

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  • Intel Core i9-9900K : US$ 488
  • Intel Core i7-9700K : US$ 374
  • Intel Core i5-9600K : US$ 262

Here are some direct purchase links, with prices accurate as of 23 October 2018.

  • Intel Core i9-9900K : US$ 579.99 (US) | £920.13 (UK)
  • Intel Core i7-9700K : US$ 409.99 (US ) | £510.54 (UK)
  • Intel Core i5-9600K : US$ 279.99 (US) | £527.09 (UK)

 

Recommended Reading

Don’t forget to also read our other Intel and AMD articles :

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Intel Core i7-8086K Preview – The 8800K Nostalgia Edition

At the Intel Computex 2018 press conference, Intel Senior VP and General Manager Gregory Bryant revealed the Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition processor, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the iconic Intel 8086 processor. Here is our preview of this processor, and why we think it is the 8800K Nostalgia Edition.

 

Gregory Bryant Announces The Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition

The Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition (Price Check) processor is a special SKU that will be available in limited quantities. It is also the first Intel processor to offer a 5 GHz turbo frequency, with a 4 GHz base clock and unlocked multipliers.

There’s a reason for Intel to choose a 5 GHz boost clock frequency for the 8086K Limited Edition. The Intel 8086 processor from 40 years ago was first introduced with a 5 MHz clock speed, that was eventually doubled to 10 MHz. Yes, that’s MEGAhertz, not GIGAhertz.

You may be interested to know that the Intel 8086 processor was a 16-bit processor with a single processor core. It only has 29,000 transistors, built on a 3.2 μm HMOS process with a 33 mm² die size.

The Intel Core i7-8086K (Price Check) processor, on the other hand, is a 64-bit processor with 6 cores that are capable of handling 12 simultaneous threads. It has about 5 billion transistors, built on a 14 nm tri-gate process with a 149 mm² die size.

 

Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition Up Close

Here is a quick hands-on look at the new Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition (Price Check) processor up close, taken at the MSI Computex 2018 showcase.

 

Intel Core i7-8086K Specifications

SpecificationsIntel Core i7-8086K
Code NameCoffee Lake
Launch Date5 June 2018
Process Technology14 nm Tri-Gate
SocketFCLGA 1151
Cores / Threads6 Cores / 12 Threads
Base Frequency4.0 GHz
Turbo Frequency5.0 GHz
L2 Cache256 KB x 6
L3 Cache12 MB
Bus Speed8 GT/s DMI 3.0
TDP95 W
Max. Memory Size64 GB
Max. Memory SpeedDDR4-2666
Max. Memory Channel2-Channel
Processor GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630
- 350 MHz to 1.2 GHz
Launch PriceUS$ 425

 

Intel Core i7-8086K Price + Availability

The Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition (Price Check) processor is available in limited quantities. Intel did not mention exactly how many units are available, but we have it on good authority that it’s limited to just 50,000 units worldwide.

Despite its low model number, the Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition (Price Check) processor is actually a faster version of the Intel Core i7-8700K (Price Check).

With a 300 MHz higher core and boost clock, it would have been known as the Intel Core i7-8800K. That’s why we call it the 8800K Nostalgia Edition. It’s really just the 8800K with a nostalgic model number.

Intel is pricing this Limited Edition processor at US$ 425 – a $66 (18%) price premium over the Intel Core i7-8700K. You can order yours from the following link :

  • Intel Core i7-8086K Limited Edition : $424.99

 

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The Intel Cannon Lake Processor Details Leaked!

During our continuing coverage of Meltdown and Spectre, we noticed that Intel accidentally leaked details of their upcoming 10 nm Cannon Lake processors. Let’s take a look at what we found!

 

The Intel Cannon Lake Processor

Cannon Lake is the long-delayed 10 nm die shrink of the Intel Kaby Lake microarchitecture. Originally slated for release in 2016, Intel delayed it in favour of another 14 nm process refinement with the Intel Coffee Lake processors.

In addition to a die shrink that would allow it to deliver better performance with lower power consumption and thermal output, the Cannon Lake processors will also boast the AVX-512 instruction set.

At CES 2018, Intel announced that they have already started shipping mobile Cannon Lake processors to their partners, with a production ramp-up in 2018. So we know for sure Cannon Lake will finally see the light of day in 2018.

 

What Intel Leaked On Cannon Lake

In their second Spectre 2 microcode update schedule, Intel accidentally released references to two Cannon Lake-U (CNL-U) processors.

The shorthand numbers appear to indicate that :

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  • they are ultra-low power mobile processors, with a 15 W TDP
  • the (2+2) model is a dual-core processor with an Intel GT2 integrated graphics
  • the (2+0) model is a dual-core processor without integrated graphics

The (2+0) model is interesting because it’s the first U-grade Intel mobile processor to not come with integrated graphics.

Is this meant to be used in applications that do not require displays, like a NAS? Could it possibly be used in an MCM package with Radeon Graphics? Or is this a higher-performance part to be paired with discrete graphics options from AMD or NVIDIA?

 

Cannon Lake Availability

Intel was not specific about when exactly they will launch these mobile Cannon Lake processors, but we can glean some details from their leaked microcode update schedule.

We can see that the Cannon Lake BIOS is currently in beta testing. So a Q1 launch is unlikely, but a Q2 launch is most definitely on the table. In fact, we think that its launch got delayed after the Intel Spectre 2 reboot issue.

Intel probably delayed its official launch until they can make sure they have a fully-patched BIOS. It wouldn’t be good PR to launch the Cannon Lake processors, without being able to claim that they’re fully-protected against Meltdown and Spectre.

 

They’re Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre?

Yes, the Cannon Lake processors are all vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre. These processors were taped out long ago. It was the Intel 10 nm process technology that was not sufficiently mature, not the Cannon Lake design.

Only the next-generation Intel Ice Lake processors, which features a new microarchitecture, will no longer be vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre.

 

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Confirmed : Intel Penryn CPUs Also Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre

Intel has always maintained that Meltdown and Spectre only affected their processors from Nehalem onwards. Every list they released publicly has backed that up. However, we can now confirm that even the Intel Penryn CPUs are also vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre.

 

Intel Penryn CPUs Also Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre

Every list Intel ever released on Meltdown and Spectre have only listed their CPUs from the Nehalem microarchitecture onwards. Although it was possible that the Intel Penryn microarchitecture was also affected, Intel conspicuously left them out of every list.

On 8 February 2018, Intel released a schedule of microcode updates meant to fix the random and spontaneous reboot problems they had with their Spectre 2 patches. Hidden in that schedule is the acknowledgement that the Intel Penryn microarchitecture was also vulnerable.

Those who have been tracking the Intel microcode updates will note that the Intel Penryn processors were not mentioned in the last update on 24 January 2018.

 

What Are The Intel Penryn CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre?

 

Meltdown + Spectre Reading Suggestions

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Intel Penryn Server CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre

Intel Yorkfield (2008-2009)

  • Intel Xeon X3380
  • Intel Xeon L3380
  • Intel Xeon X3370
  • Intel Xeon X3360
  • Intel Xeon X3350

Intel Wolfdale (2008-2009)

  • Intel Xeon E3120
  • Intel Xeon E3110
  • Intel Xeon L3110

Intel Dunnington (2008)

  • Intel Xeon X7460
  • Intel Xeon E7458
  • Intel Xeon L7455
  • Intel Xeon E7450
  • Intel Xeon L7445
  • Intel Xeon E7440
  • Intel Xeon E7430
  • Intel Xeon E7420

Intel Yorkfield-6M (2008)

  • Intel Xeon X3330
  • Intel Xeon X3320

Intel Yorkfield-CL (2008)

  • Intel Xeon X3363
  • Intel Xeon X3353
  • Intel Xeon X3323
  • Intel Xeon X3113
  • Intel Xeon L3014

Intel Harpertown (2007-2008)

  • Intel Xeon X5492
  • Intel Xeon X5482
  • Intel Xeon X5472
  • Intel Xeon E5472
  • Intel Xeon E5462
  • Intel Xeon X5470
  • Intel Xeon X5460
  • Intel Xeon X5450
  • Intel Xeon E5450
  • Intel Xeon E5440
  • Intel Xeon E5430
  • Intel Xeon L5430
  • Intel Xeon E5420
  • Intel Xeon L5420
  • Intel Xeon E5410
  • Intel Xeon L5410
  • Intel Xeon L5408
  • Intel Xeon E5405

Intel Wolfdale-DP (2007-2008)

  • Intel Xeon X5272
  • Intel Xeon X5270
  • Intel Xeon X5260
  • Intel Xeon L5248
  • Intel Xeon X5240
  • Intel Xeon L5240
  • Intel Xeon L5238
  • Intel Xeon X5220
  • Intel Xeon L5215
  • Intel Xeon X5205

Intel Tigerton (2007)

  • Intel Xeon X7350
  • Intel Xeon L7345
  • Intel Xeon E7340
  • Intel Xeon E7330
  • Intel Xeon E7320
  • Intel Xeon E7310
  • Intel Xeon E7220
  • Intel Xeon E7210

Intel Kentsfield (2007)

  • Intel Xeon X3230
  • Intel Xeon X3220
  • Intel Xeon X3210

Intel Allendale (2007)

  • Intel Xeon 3050
  • Intel Xeon 3040

Intel Clovertown (2006-2007)

  • Intel Xeon X5365
  • Intel Xeon X5355
  • Intel Xeon X5350
  • Intel Xeon E5350
  • Intel Xeon E5345
  • Intel Xeon E5340
  • Intel Xeon E5335
  • Intel Xeon L5335
  • Intel Xeon E5330
  • Intel Xeon E5320
  • Intel Xeon L5320
  • Intel Xeon L5318
  • Intel Xeon E5310
  • Intel Xeon L5310

Intel Conroe (2006-2007)

  • Intel Xeon 3085
  • Intel Xeon 3075
  • Intel Xeon 3070
  • Intel Xeon 3065
  • Intel Xeon 3060
  • Intel Xeon 3050
  • Intel Xeon 3040

Intel Woodcrest (2006)

  • Intel Xeon 5160
  • Intel Xeon 5150
  • Intel Xeon LV 5148
  • Intel Xeon 5140
  • Intel Xeon LV 5138
  • Intel Xeon LV 5133
  • Intel Xeon 5130
  • Intel Xeon LV 5128
  • Intel Xeon 5120
  • Intel Xeon LV 5113
  • Intel Xeon 5110

Next Page > Intel Penryn Desktop + Mobile CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre

 

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Intel Penryn Desktop CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre

Intel Yorkfield-6M (2008-2010)

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9705
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9700
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9505S
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9505
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9500
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400S
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400S
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200

Intel Yorkfield (2008-2009)

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450S
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450

Intel Wolfdale (2008-2009)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8290
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8200
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8190

Intel Wolfdale-3M (2008-2010)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E7200
  • Intel Pentium E6800
  • Intel Pentium E6700
  • Intel Pentium E6600
  • Intel Pentium E6500K
  • Intel Pentium E6500
  • Intel Pentium E6300
  • Intel Pentium E5800
  • Intel Pentium E5700
  • Intel Pentium E5500
  • Intel Pentium E5400
  • Intel Pentium E5300
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300
  • Intel Pentium E5200
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2210
  • Intel Celeron E3500
  • Intel Celeron E3400
  • Intel Celeron E3300
  • Intel Celeron E3200

Intel Allendale (2008-2009)

  • Intel Celeron E1600
  • Intel Celeron E1500
  • Intel Celeron E1400
  • Intel Celeron E1200

Intel Yorkfield-XE (2007-2008)

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650

Intel Conroe-L (2007-2008)

  • Intel Celeron 450
  • Intel Celeron 445
  • Intel Celeron 430
  • Intel Celeron 420
  • Intel Celeron 220

Intel Kentsfield (2007)

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6400

Intel Conroe-CL (2007)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6405
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6305
  • Intel Celeron 445

Intel Conroe (2006-2008)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6550
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6540
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6420
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6320
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E4700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E4600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E4500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E4400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2220
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2200
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2180
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2140

Intel Kentsfield-XE (2006-2007)

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700
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Intel Penryn Mobile CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown + Spectre

Intel Penryn-3M (2008-2011)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SP9600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SP9400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300
  • Intel Pentium T4500
  • Intel Pentium T4400
  • Intel Pentium T4300
  • Intel Pentium T4200
  • Intel Pentium SU4100
  • Intel Pentium SU2700
  • Intel Celeron T3500
  • Intel Celeron T3300
  • Intel Celeron T3100
  • Intel Celeron T3000
  • Intel Celeron SU2300
  • Intel Celeron 925
  • Intel Celeron 900
  • Intel Celeron ULV 763
  • Intel Celeron M ULV 743
  • Intel Celeron M ULV 723
  • Intel Celeron M ULV 722

Intel Penryn-L (2008-2009)

  • Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500
  • Intel Core 2 Solo SU3300

Intel Penryn (2008-2009)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9900
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9800
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P9700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P9600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SL9600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9550
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P9500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SL9380
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SL9300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8800
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8435
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P8400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8335
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8235
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8135
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8100
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7570
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7550
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7460
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7450
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7370
  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6970
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6900
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6670
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6570
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6400

Intel Penryn QC-XE (2008)

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300

Intel Penryn QC (2008)

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9100
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000

Intel Merom-2M (2007-2008)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo U7700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo U7600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo U7500
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3400
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T3200
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2410
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2390
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2370
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2330
  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T2310
  • Intel Celeron T1700
  • Intel Celeron T1600
  • Intel Celeron T1500
  • Intel Celeron T1400
  • Intel Celeron 585
  • Intel Celeron 575

Intel Merom-L (2007)

  • Intel Core 2 Solo ULV U2200
  • Intel Core 2 Solo ULV U2100
  • Intel Celeron ULV 573
  • Intel Celeron M ULV 523

Intel Merom (2007)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7800
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SP7700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo L7700
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7600G
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SP7500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo L7500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo L7400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo L7300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7250
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7200
  • Intel Core 2 Duo L7200
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7100
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SL7100
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5900
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5800
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5750
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5670
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5600
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5550
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5500
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5470
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5450
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5300
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5270
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5250
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T5200
  • Intel Celeron 570
  • Intel Celeron 560
  • Intel Celeron 550
  • Intel Celeron 540
  • Intel Celeron 530
  • Intel Celeron M 530
  • Intel Celeron M 520

Intel Merom-XE (2007)

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme X7900
  • Intel Core 2 Extreme X7800

 

Meltdown + Spectre Reading Suggestions

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Everything You Need To Know About The Intel Coffee Lake CPUs! Rev 3.1

Intel fans have been waiting eagerly for the Intel Coffee Lake desktop processors ever since AMD introduced their Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 family of processors. Coffee Lake is the codename for the 8th Generation Intel Core desktop processors that Intel is going to launch very soon. Here is everything you need to know about the 8th Generation Intel Core desktop processors.

Don’t forget to read The 8th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor Tech Report and how The Ryzen Effect created better Coffee Lake processors!

Updated @ 2017-10-10 : Updated the Malaysian pricing for the Intel Coffee Lake processors.

Updated @ 2017-10-09 : Added the Intel Coffee Lake Malaysia price and availability, as well as other minor updates.

Updated @ 2017-09-26 : Added new information and table on the Intel Coffee Lake processor prices and availability. Various other updates.

Originally posted @ 2017-09-11

 

The Intel Coffee Lake Processors

Codenamed Coffee Lake, the 8th Generation Intel Core processors are the first Intel processors in years to command great interest. Why? Because they will all boast two additional processor cores, finally delivering the big performance boost we have been waiting for.

With Intel Coffee Lake, Intel is changing the number of cores in the Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 processor families :

Intel Core i7 : 4 cores, 8 threads -> 6 cores, 12 threads

Intel Core i5 : 4 cores, 4 threads -> 6 cores, 6 threads

Intel Core i3 : 2 cores, 4 threads -> 4 cores, 4 threads

The first slew of Intel Coffee Lake processors to hit the market are the Core i7-8700K, the Core i7-8700, the Core i5-8600K, the Core i5-8400, the Core i3-8350K, the Core i3-8300 and the Core i3-8100.

Intel will also launch three Pentium models based on Coffee Lake – the Pentium G4720, the Pentium G4700 and the Pentium G4660. They will be priced at less than US$100 MSRP.

 

The Intel Coffee Lake Processor Specifications

Here is a table comparing the key specifications of the Intel Coffee Lake processors :

SpecificationsCore i7-8700KCore i7-8700Core i5-8600KCore i5-8400Core i3-8350KCore i3-8300Core i3-8100
Cores6666444
Threads121266444
Base Clock3.7 GHz3.2 GHz3.5 GHz2.8 GHz4.0 GHz4.0 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Clock4.7 GHz4.6 GHz4.4 GHz3.9 GHzNoneNoneNone
L1 Cache384 KB384 KB384 KB384 KB256 KB256 KB256 KB
L2 Cache1.5 MB1.5 MB1.5 MB1.5 MB1 MB1 MB1 MB
L3 Cache12 MB12 MB9 MB9 MB8 MB6 MB6 MB
Multiplier UnlockedYesNoYesNoYesNoNo
TDP95 W65 W95 W65 W91 W65 W65 W
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Worldwide Price & Availability

Intel will officially make the 8th Generation Intel Core desktop processors available on 5 October 2017. We confirmed this date through multiple sources. If you are checking for the availability of these processors online to pre-order, here are their part numbers :

Intel Core i7-8700K : BX80684I78700K

Intel Core i7-8700 : BX80684I78700

Intel Core i5-8600K : BX80684I58600K

Intel Core i5-8400 : BX80684I58400

Intel Core i3-3850K : BX80684I38350K

Intel Core i3-8100 : BX80684I38100

Most of the processors will be priced at the same price points as the preceding 7th Generation Core processor models. Intel will only hike the prices of the K-grade models of the Core i7 and Core i5 families.

Intel Core i7 K-grade models : +$20 premium (gen on gen)

Intel Core i5 K-grade models : +$15 premium (gen on gen)

All other Core i7, i5 and i3 models : PRICE PARITY!

Intel just confirmed that our leaked information is correct. Check out the official prices for the Intel Coffee Lake processors (in 1K quantities) :

8th Gen Intel Core 7th Gen Intel Core Difference
Model Launch Price Model Launch Price
Core i7-8700K $359 Core i7-7700K $339 +$20
Core i7-8700 $303 Core i7-7700 $303
Core i5-8600K $257 Core i5-7600K $242 +$15
Core i5-8400 $182 Core i5-7400 $182
Core i3-8350K $168 Core i3-7350K $168
Core i3-8100 $117 Core i3-7100 $117

Of course, those are price premiums for 1K quantities. The final market price will be considerably more expensive, at least initially. IO-Tech, for example, leaked EU prices of the K-grade processors that show a considerable price premium on those parts :

Intel Core i7-8700K : €419 (+€95 premium)

Intel Core i5-8600K : €299 (+€75 premium)

Intel Core i3-8350K : €199 (+€50 premium)

 

Intel Coffee Lake Malaysia Price & Availability Updated!

Here in Malaysia, only these four Coffee Lake CPUs are available, with considerable variation in the initial prices quoted by ETECH PC and Compuzone. ETECH PC is offering a lower price because the processor must be part of a system build. Compuzone, on the other hand, sells the retail boxed processors.

Intel Core i7-8700K (Retail Box) : RM 1,730 / ~$412
Intel Core i7-8700K (System Build) : RM 1,599 / ~$380

Intel Core i5-8400 (Retail Box) : RM 919 / ~$218
Intel Core i5-8400 (System Build) : RM 809 / ~$193

Intel Core i3-8350K (Retail Box) : RM 833 / ~$198
Intel Core i3-8350K (System Build) : RM 765 / ~$182

Intel Core i3-8100 (Retail Box) : RM 573 / ~$136
Intel Core i3-8100 (System Build) : RM 509 / ~$121

 

Reading Suggestions

Don’t forget to also read our other Intel Coffee Lake and AMD Ryzen-related articles :

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The Intel Core i7-8700K Hexa-Core Processor Review

The 8th Generation Intel Core processors, codenamed Coffee Lake, are the first Intel processor family to garner so much interest in recent history. Thanks to the Ryzen Effect, Intel is finally increasing the number of processor cores across the board. FINALLY. In this review, we are going to take a close look at the new Intel Core i7-8700K processor that boasts 6 cores capable of handling 12 simultaneous threads.

 

The 8th Generation Intel Core Processors

The Intel Core i7-8700K headlines the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor family. Here is a table comparing their key specifications :

SpecificationsCore i7-8700KCore i7-8700Core i5-8600KCore i5-8400Core i3-8350KCore i3-8300Core i3-8100
Cores6666444
Threads121266444
Base Clock3.7 GHz3.2 GHz3.5 GHz2.8 GHz4.0 GHz4.0 GHz3.6 GHz
Boost Clock4.7 GHz4.6 GHz4.4 GHz3.9 GHzNoneNoneNone
L1 Cache384 KB384 KB384 KB384 KB256 KB256 KB256 KB
L2 Cache1.5 MB1.5 MB1.5 MB1.5 MB1 MB1 MB1 MB
L3 Cache12 MB12 MB9 MB9 MB8 MB6 MB6 MB
Multiplier UnlockedYesNoYesNoYesNoNo
TDP95 W65 W95 W65 W91 W65 W65 W

 

The Intel Core i7-8700K Hexa-Core CPU

The Intel Coffee Lake (8th Gen) processors are built on the same 14 nm process technology as the Intel Skylake and Kaby Lake processors, albeit refined. In addition to the two extra processor cores, it packs a 50% larger L3 cache and support for faster DDR4-2666 memory.

Even with the two additional cores and a larger L3 cache, the Intel Core i7-8700K looks like any other LGA 1151 processor that have come out of Intel’s factories in years past. However, it cannot be used in older Intel 100-series or 200-series motherboards. Even though it uses the same LGA 1151 socket, its pin configuration has changed. It must be installed in an Intel 300-series motherboard.

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Benchmarking The Intel Core i7-8700K

In this review, we will take a look at the work and gaming performance of the Intel Core i7-8700K processor. We will compare it to the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), the Intel Core i7-6700K, the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) and the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) processors. Here is a table comparing their key specifications.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Intel Core i7-8700K Intel Core i7-6700K AMD Ryzen 5 1500X AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Cores / Threads 8 / 16 6 / 12 4 / 8 4 / 8 4 / 4
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.7 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.5 GHz
Boost Clock 4.0 GHz 4.7 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz
L2 Cache 4 MB 1.5 MB 1 MB 2 MB 2 MB
L3 Cache 16 MB 12 MB 8 MB 16 MB 8 MB
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2133 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
Current Price US$ 499 US$ 339 US$ 298 US$ 189 US$ 129

Here are the specifications of the testbeds we used :

Intel Testbed AMD Testbed
Processors Intel Core i7-8700K
Intel Core i7-6700K
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F-Gaming
ASRock Z170 Extreme4
GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming-5
ASRock AB350 Gaming K4
Memory Speed Corsair Vengeance LPX
DDR4-2666 (4 GB x 2)
Corsair Vengeance LPX
DDR4-2666 (4 GB x 2)
Graphics Card AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon RX 480
Storage Western Digital Black² Western Digital Black²
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

The Intel Core i7-8700K has 2 extra cores and handles 50% more threads than the Intel Core i7-6700K, but has a slightly lower base clock speed. However its boost clock goes all the way to 4.7 GHz, if a single core is used. Let’s see how it performs against the field!

Next Page > 3D Rendering, Video Transcoding & Photoshop Performance

 

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3D Rendering Speed – CINEBENCH R15

CINEBENCH R15 is a real-world 3D rendering benchmark based on the MAXON Cinema 4D animation software. This is a great way to accurately determine the actual performance of a processor in 3D content creation.

CINEBENCH R15 Single Core

This Single Core test is not reflective of real world performance, but it is useful to find out the performance of the individual core.

We already knew from our Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) reviews that the Intel Skylake core is about 8% faster than the AMD Ryzen core. Intel made improvements to the Coffee Lake core but do not let the results fool you – most of it is due to the higher clock speed.

When it runs with a single core, the Intel Core i7-8700K has a turbo boost clock of 4.7 GHz – a full GHz over its base clock speed. If we adjust the results to account for the higher clock speed, the Intel Coffee Lake core is about 9.4% faster than the AMD Ryzen core.

CINEBENCH R15 Multi Core

This shows the real-world 3D rendering performance of the five processors. Impressively, the 6-core Intel Core i7-8700K came within 5% of the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), which is an 8-core, 16-thread processor!

Even more impressive is the fact that the Intel Core i7-8700K was 72% faster than the Core i7-6700K in this test. That is a double-digit improvement worth crowing about!

CINEBENCH R15 MP Ratio

The analysis of the Multi-Processing Ratio is useful in checking the efficiency of the SMT implementation. The MP Ratio is independent of the processor’s clock speed.

After adjusting for their clock speed differences, we estimate that the SMT implementation in the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) is about 12% more efficient than Hyper-Threading in the Intel Core i7-8700K.

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Video Transcoding Speed – HandBrake

HandBrake is a free, open-source video transcoding utility. Video transcoding basically converts a video file from one resolution / format to another. As you can imagine, it’s very compute-intensive. In our test, we converted a 4K video of 1.3 GB in size into a 1080p video (HQ1080p30).

The Intel Core i7-8700K transcoded the 1.3 GB video in just over 5 minutes – about 13.3% slower than the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and 46% faster than the Core i7-6700K. Very nice!

 

Radial Blur Speed – Photoshop CC 14

The radial blur filter adds the perception of motion to a picture. This is a compute-intensive operation that benefits from multiple processing cores. This radial blur test was performed on a single 13.5 megapixel photo, with a filesize of 4,910,867 bytes.

The Intel Core i7-8700K did very well in this test, applying the radial blur filter in just 8 seconds – less than a second (9%) slower than the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check)! It was 57% faster in this test than the Core i7-6700K. Very impressive!

Next Page > 3DMark & Ashes of the Singularity Performance

 

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3DMark – Time Spy (DirectX 12)

In the Time Spy CPU test, the Intel Core i7-8700K was 19% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and 30% faster than the Core i7-6700K. However, its overall score was actually a tad higher than that of the Ryzen 7 1800X .

 

Ashes of the Singularity (1080p)

In the RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity, the single core CPU performance has a significant effect on the actual frame rate.

The performance of the Intel Core i7-8700K in this game perplexed us. Despite reinstalling the drivers and benchmarking over and over again, we kept getting the same results. For some reason, the Core i7-8700K was actually 4% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), 14% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), and 18% slower than the Core i7-6700K.

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Ashes of the Singularity (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K, the performance difference was greatly reduced. Even so, the Intel Core i7-8700K continued to underperform, basically matching the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) in performance.

Next Page > Warhammer & The Witcher 3 Performance

 

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Total War: Warhammer (1080p)

Like Ashes of the Singularity, the single core performance appears to be crucial in Total War: Warhammer.

Again, the Intel Core i7-8700K perplexed us by underperforming in Total War: Warhammer. In fact, it was even slower than the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Lowest Price)!

With an average frame rate of just 66.7 fps, the Core i7-8700K was 19% slower than the Core i7-6700K, 15% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), and 13% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

Let’s remember that these are the actual frame rates, not the actual CPU performance.

 

Total War: Warhammer (4K)

When we increased the resolution to 4K, all other four processors delivered practically the same average frame rates. Naturally, at this high resolution, the graphics card was the most important factor in delivering high frame rates.

However, the Intel Core i7-8700K continued to buck the trend by delivering noticeably lower frame rates. Its average frame rate was 9% lower than the other four processors.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (1080p)

The CPU performance has a smaller effect with FPS games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. On the other hand, it supports multi-core processors. In any case, the Intel Core i7-8700K continued its trend of underperforming with games. Its average frame rate was roughly on par with the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

 

The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K though, all five processors were virtually equivalent in performance. That’s not to say that they are equally fast, just that the graphics card mattered far, far more at such a high resolution.

Next Page > Summary & Verdict On The Intel Core i7-8700K

 

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Summary & Verdict On The Intel Core i7-8700K

The Intel Core i7-8700K is a breath of fresh air. Finally, Intel has a new processor worth boasting about. Thanks to the two additional cores, and the consequently larger L2 and L3 caches, it is significantly faster than its predecessor, even those built on the same microarchitecture and process technology.

The multi-core applications we tested just lapped up the extra cores and deliver significantly better performance. Even its single-core performance was improved, mostly due to the higher clock speed.

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 72% faster than the Core i7-6700K in 3D rendering

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 46% faster than the Core i7-6700K in video transcoding

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 57% faster than the Core i7-6700K in applying the radial blur filter

Impressively, it performed very well in comparison to the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check).

The Intel Core i7-8700K was just 4.8% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X in 3D rendering

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 13.3% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X in video transcoding

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 8.8% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X in applying the radial blur filter

But when it came to games, everything turned on its head. Perplexingly, it performed poorly in all of our game tests, delivering frame rates that were slower than the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), and even the Ryzen 3 1300X (Lowest Price)!

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 18% slower than the Core i7-6700K in Ashes of the Singularity

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 19% slower than the Core i7-6700K in Total War: Warhammer

The Intel Core i7-8700K was 3.4% slower than the Core i7-6700K in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

As those frame rates are heavily influenced by the graphics card, we think it is likely an issue with the motherboard. We will need to take more time to figure out what’s wrong. We will retest and update this review as soon as we can.

But based on the raw performance of the processor in the applications we tested, we feel safe to say that the Intel Core i7-8700K is definitely the Core i7 processor that Intel fans have been waiting for.

 

Reading Suggestions

Don’t forget to also read our other Intel Coffee Lake and AMD Ryzen-related articles :

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Thank The Ryzen Effect For Better Intel Processors!

Intel has been in doldrums for years, literally stagnating in the lack of competition. Their dominance of the desktop and mobile processor market led them into a vicious cycle of uninspiring products and lacklustre market reception… until the AMD Ryzen arrived on the scene. Let’s look at how the Ryzen Effect helped to create better Intel Coffee Lake processors!

Updated @ 2017-10-01 : Added more information to the comparison table, and updated various parts of the article.

Originally posted @ 2017-09-10

 

Before Ryzen

Even before Intel dropped their Tick-Tock model in 2016, they already had trouble convincing customers to adopt their latest processors because they delivered relatively minor boosts in performance over their predecessors. In the end, they resigned themselves to trying to convince users of 5 years old (or older) PCs to upgrade to the latest Intel processors.

It was not really a matter of technical or manufacturing problems. It was really an almost complete lack of competition. Sure, AMD had a presence in the market with their 7th Generation APUs but no serious gamer or desktop user used them, and Intel locked up almost all of the mobile processor market.

That’s why we have been stuck with (mostly) dual-core processors in laptops, and quad-core processors in desktops. That was, until AMD introduced the Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 family of processors.

 

The Ryzen Effect

As our tests and review have shown, the AMD Ryzen processors are still slightly slower per clock than the Intel Core processors. However, AMD more than made up for that small deficit by doubling the number of physical or virtual cores, and adding a large L3 cache.

Finally, a paradigm shift in the CPU market! Now AMD has a slew of processors that deliver almost twice the performance at a lower price point. This has kicked Intel into doing what has been unthinkable for years – giving us much greater performance for our money.

 

The Intel Coffee Lake Processors

For years, Intel have relied on relatively minor improvements in their processor microarchitecture and process technologies to deliver what they called “double digit improvements in performance“. That’s PR-speak for performance improvements that are too small to boast.

That changed with the Coffee Lake processors that Intel announced on 25 September 2017. Intel finally increased the number of cores in their 8th Gen Intel Core desktop processors. Basically…

Intel Core i7 : 4 core, 8 threads -> 6 cores, 12 threads

Intel Core i5 : 4 core, 4 threads -> 6 cores, 6 threads

Intel Core i3 : 2 core, 4 threads -> 4 cores, 4 threads

How does that compare against the Ryzen 7, Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 processors? Here’s a table that compares their key features!

Processor Families Cores Threads L1 Cache L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory
8th Gen Intel Core i7 6 12 384 KB 1.5 MB 12 MB DDR4-2666
AMD Ryzen 7 8 16 768 KB 4 MB 16 MB DDR4-2666
8th Gen Intel Core i5 6 6 384 KB 1.5 MB 9 MB DDR4-2666
AMD Ryzen 5 (6 Cores) 6 12 576 KB 3 MB 16 MB DDR4-2666
AMD Ryzen 5 (4 Cores) 4 8 384 KB 2 MB 16 MB DDR4-2666
8th Gen Intel Core i3 4 4 256 KB 1 MB 6/8 MB DDR4-2400
AMD Ryzen 3 4 4 768 KB 2 MB 8 MB DDR4-2666

Read The 8th Generation Intel Core Tech Report and Everything You Need To Know About Intel Coffee Lake!

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Much Better Value For Money!

Best of all, Intel is not going to charge a fortune for the extra cores. In fact, they are only going to charge you a small premium for the K-grade Core i7 and Core i5 models. The other Coffee Lake processors will be priced at the same price points as their predecessors.

Intel Core i7 K-grade models : +$20 premium (gen on gen)

Intel Core i5 K-grade models : +$15 premium (gen on gen)

Intel Core i3 K-grade models : PRICE PARITY!

All other Core i7, i5 and i3 models : PRICE PARITY!

So even if you are a die-hard Intel fan, you should thank AMD for forcing Intel to up their game. More cores at the same price point? Unbelievable years ago, but it’s happening right now.

 

Reading Suggestions

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PAVP Mode – The BIOS Optimization Guide

PAVP Mode

Common Options : Paranoid, Lite, Disabled

 

PAVP Mode Quick Review

PAVP (Protected Audio Video Path) controls the hardware-accelerated decoding of encrypted video streams by Intel integrated graphics processors. Intel offers two PAVP modes – Paranoid and Lite.

When set to Paranoid, the video stream is encrypted and its decoding is accelerated by the integrated graphics processor. In addition, 96 MB of system memory will be reserved exclusively for use by PAVP.

When set to Lite, the video stream is encrypted and its decoding is accelerated by the integrated graphics processor. No system memory will be reserved for use by PAVP.

When set to Disabled, the hardware-accelerated decoding of video content protected by HDCP is disabled.

If you wish to play HDCP-protected content, you should select the Lite option. It allows hardware-accelerated decoding of the video stream. The graphics core will grab system memory for use by PAVP only when it is needed and release it after use.

The allocation of PAVP stolen memory may be necessary to allow some applications to stream lossless audio formats like Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HS MA. In such cases, you will need to set the PAVP Mode BIOS option to Paranoid. However, this takes up 96 MB of system memory and also disables the Windows Aero interface.

You should only use the Disabled setting if you intend to use an external graphics card to accelerate the decoding of the video stream, or if you wish to test the ability of the CPU to handle decryption of the video stream.

 

PAVP Mode Details

PAVP (Protected Audio Video Path) is a feature available on some Intel chipsets with integrated graphics. It ensures a secure content protection path for high-definition video sources like Blu-ray discs. It also controls the hardware-accelerated decoding of encrypted video streams by the integrated graphics processor.

Intel offers two PAVP modes – Paranoid and Lite. Here is a table that summarizes the difference between the two modes :

Feature

PAVP Paranoid

PAVP Lite

Compressed video buffer is encrypted

Yes

Yes

Hardware acceleration of 128-bit AES decryption

Yes

Yes

Protected memory (96 MB reserved during boot)

Yes

No

In other words, the two modes only differ in whether 96 MB of system memory should be reserved for use by PAVP.

When set to Paranoid, the video stream is encrypted and its decoding is accelerated by the integrated graphics processor. In addition, 96 MB of system memory will be reserved exclusively for use by PAVP. This reserved memory (also known as the PAVP Stolen Memory) will not be visible to the operating system or applications.

When set to Lite, the video stream is encrypted and its decoding is accelerated by the integrated graphics processor. No system memory will be reserved for use by PAVP.

When set to Disabled, the hardware-accelerated decoding of video content protected by HDCP is disabled.

If you wish to play HDCP-protected content, you should select the Lite option. It allows hardware-accelerated decoding of the video stream. The graphics core will grab system memory for use by PAVP only when it is needed and release it after use.

The allocation of PAVP stolen memory may be necessary to allow some applications to stream lossless audio formats like Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HS MA. In such cases, you will need to set the PAVP Mode BIOS option to Paranoid. However, this takes up 96 MB of system memory and also disables the Windows Aero interface.

You should only use the Disabled setting if you intend to use an external graphics card to accelerate the decoding of the video stream, or if you wish to test the ability of the CPU to handle decryption of the video stream.

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Delay Prior To Thermal – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Delay Prior To Thermal

Common Options : 4 Minutes, 8 Minutes, 16 Minutes, 32 Minutes

 

Quick Review

The Delay Prior To Thermal BIOS feature is only valid for newer Intel processors (from the 0.13µ Intel Pentium 4 with 512 KB L2 cache “Prescott” onwards). These processors come with a Thermal Monitor which actually consists of a on-die thermal sensor and a Thermal Control Circuit (TCC).

When the Thermal Monitor is in automatic mode and the thermal sensor detects that the processor has reached its maximum safe operating temperature, it will activate the TCC. The TCC will then modulate the clock cycles by inserting null cycles, typically at a rate of 50-70% of the total number of clock cycles. This results in the processor “resting” 50-70% of the time.

As the die temperature drops, the TCC will gradually reduce the number of null cycles until no more is required to keep the die temperature below the safe point. Then the thermal sensor turns the TCC off. This mechanism allows the processor to dynamically adjust its duty cycles to ensure its die temperature remains within safe limits.

The Delay Prior To Thermal BIOS feature controls the activation of the Thermal Monitor’s automatic mode. It allows you to determine when the Thermal Monitor should be activated in automatic mode after the system boots. For example, with the default value of 16 Minutes, the BIOS activates the Thermal Monitor in automatic mode 16 minutes after the system starts booting up.

Generally, the Thermal Monitor should not be activated immediately on booting as the processor will be under a heavy load during the booting process. This causes a sharp rise in die temperature from its cold state. Because it takes time for the thermal output to radiate from the die to the heat sink, the thermal sensor will register the sudden spike in die temperature and prematurely activate the TCC. This unnecessarily reduces the processor’s performance during the booting up process.

Therefore, to ensure optimal booting performance, the activation of the Thermal Monitor must be delayed for a set period of time.

It is recommended that you set this BIOS feature to the lowest value (in minutes) that exceeds the time it takes to fully boot up your computer. For example, if it takes 5 minutes to fully boot up your system, you should select 8 Minutes.

You should not select a delay value that is unnecessarily long. Without the Thermal Monitor, your processor may heat up to a critical temperature (approximately 135 °C), at which point the thermal sensor shuts down your processor by removing the core voltage within 0.5 seconds.

 

Details

The Delay Prior To Thermal BIOS feature is only valid for newer Intel processors (from the 0.13µ Intel Pentium 4 with 512 KB L2 cache “Prescott” onwards). These processors come with a Thermal Monitor which actually consists of a on-die thermal sensor and a Thermal Control Circuit (TCC). Because the thermal sensor is on-die and placed at the hottest part of the die – near the integer ALU units, it is able to closely monitor the processor’s die temperature.

When the Thermal Monitor is in automatic mode and the thermal sensor detects that the processor has reached its maximum safe operating temperature, it will send a PROCHOT# (Processor Hot) signal which activates the TCC. The TCC will then modulate the clock cycles by inserting null cycles, typically at a rate of 50-70% of the total number of clock cycles. Note that the operating frequency of the processor remains unchanged. The TCC only inserts null cycles which results in the processor “resting” 50-70% of the time.

As the die temperature drops, the TCC will gradually reduce the number of null cycles until no more is required to keep the die temperature below the safe point. Then the thermal sensor stops sending the PROCHOT# signal, thereby turning the TCC off. This mechanism allows the processor to dynamically adjust its duty cycles to ensure its die temperature remains within safe limits.

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The Delay Prior To Thermal BIOS feature controls the activation of the Thermal Monitor’s automatic mode. It allows you to determine when the Thermal Monitor should be activated in automatic mode after the system boots. For example, with the default value of 16 Minutes, the BIOS activates the Thermal Monitor in automatic mode 16 minutes after the system starts booting up.

It also allows the watchdog timer to generate a System Management Interrupt (SMI), thereby presenting the BIOS with an opportunity to enable the Thermal Monitor when running non-ACPI-compliant operating systems.

Generally, the Thermal Monitor should not be activated immediately on booting as the processor will be under a heavy load during the booting process. This causes a sharp rise in die temperature from its cold state. Because it takes time for the thermal output to radiate from the die to the heat sink, the thermal sensor will register the sudden spike in die temperature and prematurely activate the TCC. This unnecessarily reduces the processor’s performance during the booting up process.

Therefore, to ensure optimal booting performance, the activation of the Thermal Monitor must be delayed for a set period of time. This allows the processor to operate at maximum performance without interference from the Thermal Monitor. It also prevents the unnecessary activation of the TCC and the subsequent modulation of processor cycles by allowing the die to stabilize to its true temperature before Thermal Monitor is activated.

It is recommended that you set this BIOS feature to the lowest value (in minutes) that exceeds the time it takes to fully boot up your computer. For example, if it takes 5 minutes to fully boot up your system, you should select 8 Minutes.

You should not select a delay value that is unnecessarily long. Without the Thermal Monitor, your processor may heat up to a critical temperature (approximately 135 °C), at which point the THERMTRIP# signal will be asserted. This shuts down your processor by removing the core voltage within 0.5 seconds. While this measure will most likely save the processor from permanent damage, you will be forced to reset the system before the processor will start working again.

 

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Differential Current – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Differential Current

Common Options : 4x Iref, 5x Iref, 6x Iref, 7x Iref

 

Quick Review

The Differential Current BIOS feature allows you to change the amount of differential current produced by the clock driver pairs, effectively changing the voltage swing of the system clocks.

When set to 4x Iref, the current difference is four times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 5x Iref, the current difference is five times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 6x Iref, the current difference is six times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 7x Iref, the current difference is seven times that of Iref, the reference current source.

By default, the Differential Current BIOS feature is set to 4x Iref. Unfortunately, it is not known what that translate to in voltage. Not even the Iref value is known. However, the higher the differential current, the greater the voltage swing.

As a higher voltage swing improves integrity of the clock signals and overall system stability, it is recommended that you set this BIOS feature to 7x Iref for a higher differential current. However, please note that this will increase the amount of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) produced by the motherboard.

 

Details

In the Intel Pentium 4 platform, the voltage swing used by the system clocks is not derived from a common voltage source. Instead, it uses Iref or the reference current source to drive pairs of clock drivers that produce differential currents. These differential currents are used to set the voltage swing of the various system clocks.

This new clocking method reduces the effect of noise on the voltage swing of the system clocks. This results in better timing margins which can translate into tighter, faster timings or better stability.

The Differential Current BIOS feature allows you to change the amount of differential current produced by the clock driver pairs, effectively changing the voltage swing of the system clocks.

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When set to 4x Iref, the current difference is four times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 5x Iref, the current difference is five times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 6x Iref, the current difference is six times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 7x Iref, the current difference is seven times that of Iref, the reference current source.

By default, the Differential Current BIOS feature is set to 4x Iref. Unfortunately, it is not known what that translate to in voltage. Not even the Iref value is known.

However, the higher the differential current, the greater the voltage swing. In other words, 4x Iref produces the lowest voltage swing while 7x Iref produces the highest voltage swing.

As a higher voltage swing improves integrity of the clock signals and overall system stability, it is recommended that you set this BIOS feature to 7x Iref for a higher differential current. However, please note that this will increase the amount of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) produced by the motherboard.

 

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CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch – BIOS Optimization Guide

CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review

CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch is a BIOS feature specific to the Intel processors (from Pentium 4 onwards), including Intel Xeon processors.

When enabled, the processor will fetch the cache line containing the currently requested data, and prefetch the following cache line.

When disabled, the processor will only fetch the cache line containing the currently requested data.

In a desktop system, CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch improves the processor’s performance since there’s a high probability of the processor requiring the next cache line as well. It is recommended that you enable this BIOS feature in a desktop system.

But in a server, this feature may actually degrade performance since data requests in servers are of a more random nature. You will need to evaluate the performance effect of CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch on your server and determine if it should be disabled or enabled for better performance. But servers should generally disable this feature.

 

Details

CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch is a BIOS feature specific to the Intel processors (from Pentium 4 onwards), including Intel Xeon processors. When one of these processors receives data from the cache, it can also prefetch the next 64-byte cache line. This may reduce cache latency by making the next cache line immediately available if the processor requires it as well.

When enabled, the processor will fetch the cache line containing the currently requested data, and prefetch the following cache line.

When disabled, the processor will only fetch the cache line containing the currently requested data.

In a desktop system, CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch improves the processor’s performance since there’s a high probability of the processor requiring the next cache line as well. It is recommended that you enable this BIOS feature in a desktop system.

But in a server, this feature may actually degrade performance since data requests in servers are of a more random nature. The probability of the next cache line being required by the processor is lower than that of a desktop system. If the processor prefetches the second cache line and it is not required by the processor, it is discarded and the processor requests for the data it needs. This incurs a slight penalty in performance.

You will need to evaluate the performance effect of CPU Adjacent Sector Prefetch on your server and determine if it should be disabled or enabled for better performance. But servers should generally disable this feature.

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The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard Review Rev. 2.0

ASRock is a relatively new motherboard manufacturer, and it shows in their designs. They are more willing to come up with edgier designs, with a particular emphasis on marketing-friendly features. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their Intel Z170-based motherboards – the ASRock Z170 Extreme4.

Updated @ 2016-05-03 : Updated the review with additional information, particularly with regards to its PCI Express and SATA Express ports.

 

ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Specifications

SpecificationsASRock Z170 Extreme4
ChipsetIntel Z170
CPU Support6th Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors (Socket 1151)
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK & Hyper BCLK Engine Full-range Overclocking
CPU Power10-phase digital power design
Memory SupportUp to 64 GB of non-ECC, unbuffered DDR4 memory
- Four DDR4 DIMM slots with 15 μ gold-plated contacts (dual-channel)
- Supports up to DDR4-3866+ (OC) with a single memory module
- Supports DDR4-3600 (OC) / DDR4-3200 (OC) / DDR4-2933 (OC) / DDR4-2800 (OC) / DDR4-2400 (OC) / DDR4-2133
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operating in non-ECC mode)
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOSTwo 128 Mbits AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual GUI support
- Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
- ACPI 5.0 & SMBIOS 2.7 Compliant
- Supports CPU, DRAM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA voltage adjustments
Processor Graphics Support- Supports Intel HD Graphics with up to 1792 MB shared memory
- Built-in DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 output supports triple monitors
- Maximum DVI-D resolution : 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Maximum HDMI resolution : 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
- Maximum DisplayPort resolution : 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Audio SupportASRock Purity Sound 3
- Realtek ALC1150 7.1-channel HD audio codec
- Nichicon Fine Gold series capacitors, 115 dB SND DAC with two Ti NE5532 amplifiers
LAN SupportIntel I219V Gigabit LAN
- Supports Energy-Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports Lightning & ESD Protection
Expansion Slots3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots
- x16 with single card / x8-x8 with two cards / x8-x8-x4 with three cards
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and CrossFireX
- Supports NVIDIA Quad SLI and SLI

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots (Flexible PCIe design)
Storage Ports3 x SATA Express (10 Gb/s) ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support
- each can be converted into two SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/s) ports

1 x Ultra M.2 socket
- Supports Type 2230 / 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 M.2 modules
- Supports M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen 3 x4
Connectors- 1 x COM Port Header
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 2 x CPU Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 3 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
Rear Panel I/O- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 6 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel Z170) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
Hardware Sensors- CPU & chassis temperature sensors and fan tachometers
- Case Open detection
- Voltage monitoring for +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA
Form FactorFull ATX
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7
Certifications- FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)

 

Unboxing The ASRock Z170 Extreme4

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 comes in a typical motherboard box – a large cardboard box with its key features printed on the underside. Let us show you what’s inside the box in this unboxing video…

Inside, the box is divided into two layers by a simple cardboard insert. Under it is the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard in an anti-static bag with a pink polyethylene anti-static sheet wrapped around it.

When you remove everything, you will find the following items :

Page 2 > The Motherboard, CPU Power & Performance, DDR4 Memory

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The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 is a full ATX-sized motherboard that boasts the following key features :

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  1. ASRock Super Alloy
  2. Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  3. Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
  4. Supports DDR4 3866+(OC) memory modules
  5. 3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  6. NVIDIA Quad SLI, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX
  7. Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2
  8. Supports Triple Monitor
  9. 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound 3 & DTS Connect
  10. 3 SATA Express, 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  11. 2 USB 3.1 (1 Type-C & 1 Type-A), 8 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 6 Rear)
  12. Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop

We also prepared a special video to show you the key design features of the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard. Enjoy!

 

CPU Power & Performance

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard features a 10-phase power design. This is most likely an 8+2 design, with 8 phases dedicated to the CPU. That ensures a cooler and more efficient power conversion compared to voltage regulator modules (VRM) with fewer phases. Its MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by large aluminium alloy heatsinks, which helps ensure reliability and longevity of the VRM.

The Z170 Extreme4 uses digital pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control its VRM. The PWM is critical in ensuring a stable power supply. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

ASRock also equipped the Z170 Extreme4 with Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors, which not only boasts faster response times and lower voltage noise but also a much longer lifespan (12,000 hours @ 105 °C). In general – this motherboard is designed to last.

To support CPU coolers with two fans, or a DIMM cooler, the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 has two CPU fan headers placed at the top of the board, right next to the four DIMM slots. Finally, the Z170 Extreme4 features an external base clock generator, which gives you finer control of the BLCK frequency- in 0.0625 MHz steps. Of course, the utility of such fine control of the BCLK clock is questionable…

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DDR4 Memory Slots

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots, their contacts gold-plated to protect them against oxidation and corrosion. Even though the Intel Z170 chipset only supports non-ECC memory, these DIMM slots can accept ECC memory modules – with their ECC capability disabled.

The Intel Z170 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2133 MHz in frequency, but the Z170 Extreme4 allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 3600 MHz with selected modules. It even supports 3866 MHz, but only if a single memory module is installed.

Page 3 > PCI Express, Ultra M.2, SATA Ports

 

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PCI Express Slots

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard has 6 PCI Express slots – 3 full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and 3 much smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The top-most PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE2) operates at full x16 speed with a single card.

If you have two graphics cards, you will need to install them in PCIE2 and PCIE4 and they will both run at x8 speed. If you install a third graphics cards in the PCIE6 slot, it will only run at x4 speed.

The three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots are of the flexible design. That basically means an open-ended slot. This allows you to use any PCI Express card in those x1 slots, even x16 cards. The only downside is that they will only run at x1 speed.

 

Ultra M.2 Socket

The Ultra M.2 socket is a unique ASRock feature. The M.2 socket is usually connected to the Z170 chipset using two PCI Express lanes. ASRock has instead connected the M.2 socket directly to the Intel Core processor using four PCI Express lanes. This not only doubles the maximum bandwidth to 32 Gbits/s (4 GB/s), it also reduces the M.2 socket’s latency.

Of course, you will need an M.2 SSD that supports PCIe x4. Even so, PCIe x2 SSDs may benefit slightly from the lower latencies associated with the Ultra M.2 socket being directly connected to the CPU, bypassing the Z170 chipset.

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SATA Ports

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 specifications officially quotes 3 SATA Express ports as well as 6 standard SATA 3 ports. However, that is not really the case – it only comes with 3 SATA Express ports.

Of course, each SATA Express port can be “converted” into 2 standard SATA 3 ports. After all, the SATA Express port is really just two SATA 3 ports with a smaller PCI Express port that delivers two PCIe lanes. So you can attach up to 3 SATA Express devices, or 6 SATA devices, or any combinations in between.

Depending on how many drives you intend to use in your system, this may or may not be sufficient. The stacked side-facing SATA ports also may prove to be troublesome. In tight cases, you may not be able to access the lower SATA Express port, depriving you of the opportunity to attach a SATA Express device, or two SATA devices.

Page 4 > Purity Sound 3, Goodies For Techies, I/O Ports & Armor, Other Accessories

 

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ASRock Purity Sound 3

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard comes with their Purity Sound 3 audio solution. It is a combination of the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec with a 115 dB SNR DAC, two Ti NE5532 amplifiers as well as EMI and PCB shielding.

One of the Ti NE5532 amplifiers is used as a differential amplifier, which avoids the distortion caused by audio capacitors. The other Ti NE5532 amplifier is dedicated to driving the headphone port, allowing you to use high-impedance headphones without a separate amplifier or sound card.

 

Goodies For Techies

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 was designed with techies in mind. It sports two 128 Mbit BIOS chips, with a physical switch. This allows you to quickly switch to the backup BIOS if you make an unrecoverable mistake in the BIOS setting, or the BIOS is corrupted after a flash failure.

They also include physical Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard, for enthusiasts who prefer to use the Z170 Extreme4 outside of a chassis. There is also a 2-digit Dr. Debug LED display that displays an error code during any failure. Very useful indeed.

 

I/O Ports & Armor

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 has a ton of I/O ports at the rear, including a legacy PS/2 port, a physical Reset button, two USB 3.1 ports (one Type A, one Type C) as well as 6 standard USB 3.0 ports. In addition to the 5 audio and line-in port, it also sports a single Gigabit LAN port. For display purposes, it boasts a DVI-D port, a HDMI port and a DisplayPort.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 also features what ASRock calls their I/O Armor. It is ostensibly a protective cover that protects the rear I/O ports from static damage. Frankly speaking, this is only useful if you are using the motherboard outside of a chassis. When installed in a chassis, that job is fulfilled by the I/O shield (also included) that is installed into the chassis.

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Other Accessories

Here is a closer look at the other accessories included in the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 package – the manual and driver CD. A case sticker can be found inside the driver CD sleeve.

It also comes with four SATA 3 cables and an SLI bridge card. There is a small plastic bag with a single small screw – this is used to lock the Ultra M.2 SSD in place.

Page 5 > Our Verdict & Award

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Our Verdict

ASRock has been accused of focusing a bit too much on marketing, at the expense of quality. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 boasts a 10-phase power design with a digital PWM and Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors. The entire power supply is further cooled by large aluminium-alloy heatsinks. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring an efficient power conversion, stable power supply and longer lifespan.

We also like the fact that they added support for USB 3.1. Not just the more common Type C, they also added the larger Type A port. Their Ultra M.2 socket is also a nice touch although it has minimal effect on your M.2 SSD’s performance unless it supports PCIe x4.

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Audiophiles will appreciate the better audio quality courtesy of its Purity Sound 3 module. Enthusiasts who prefer using the motherboard “in the nude” will love their addition of physical Power and Reset buttons as well as a Dr. Debug LED.

There is plenty of expansion options with 3 full-sized PCI Express x16 slots and 3 small PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x1 slots are even the “flexible” type that will accept any PCI Express card.

The only downside is the limited number of SATA ports. This will be a problem in tight cases because 4 of them are stacked and bent perpendicularly. Only two of the SATA ports are conveniently located at the lower right corner of the motherboard.

Overall, this is one sweet Intel Z170 motherboard, especially for a hardware enthusiast who prefers not to use a chassis. We think it deserves at least our Reviewers’ Choice Award. Congratulations, ASRock!

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The 6th Gen Intel Core vPro Processors Revealed!

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 19, 2016 – Intel Corporation today announced the availability of its 6th Generation Intel Core vPro processor family for the modern workforce. The latest iteration of Intel Core vPro processors addresses the security and productivity demands of large businesses with new innovations in authentication security, enhanced performance and collaboration for 2 in 1s, Ultrabooks, All-in-Ones and the latest desktops.

“With incredible, new, eye-catching designs, added performance, and longer battery life, the 6th Gen Intel Core and Intel Core vPro processors are setting a new standard for business computing,” said Tom Garrison, vice president and general manager for the Intel Business Client division. “By also adding enhanced security capabilities in the hardware, Intel has helped to make these newest PCs an integral part of a business’s overall security solution, making users more secure and productive than ever before.

 

The 6th Generation Intel Core vPro Processors Revealed!

Locking the PC’s Virtual Front Door with More than Password Protection

Hackers are finding new ways to break into old PCs through the virtual front door by stealing user credentials to gain privileges inside organizations. Today, more than half of data breaches start with misused or stolen user credentials. Older PCs that use eight-character passwords that change every 90 days worked well a decade ago, but increasingly sophisticated attack methods require a deeper level of security.

To address this, Intel is previewing a new security innovation called Intel Authenticate for businesses to begin internally testing and qualifying. Intel Authenticate is a hardware-enhanced, multifactor authentication solution that strengthens identity protection on the PC, making it less vulnerable to identity and security credential attacks.

Intel Authenticate verifies identities by using a combination of up to three hardened factors at the same time: “something you know,” such as a personal identification number; “something you have,” including a mobile phone; and “something you are,” like a fingerprint. IT can choose from multiple hardened factors of authentication that are based on company policies, and no longer has to rely solely on employees remembering complicated passwords2. Intel Authenticate is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10, and is available for customers to preview.

Upgrading Business PCs Adds Productivity, Reduces Overall Cost

Older laptops can cost businesses $4,203 per year, for every three PCs, in maintenance and lost productivity. New business PCs can help address this by delivering up to 2.5 times the performance and a 30-times increase in graphics performance over a 5-year-old device, providing users with much more productive and powerful business tools.

Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba are all releasing enterprise-ready devices featuring the new Intel processors. Enterprise buyers can choose from a variety of designs including 2 in 1s, Ultrabooks, ultrathin clamshells, mini PCs and All-in-One desktops tailored to any work environment to meet the needs of businesses of any size.

A New and Better Way to Meet

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The way businesses collaborate across the globe is changing, however the meeting room tools that enable effective meetings have not kept pace with a more dispersed workforce. Intel is introducing updates to Intel Unite for a smarter and more connected way to meet in the workplace. It includes extended display capabilities so meeting participants no longer need to search for the right adapter or dongle.

Both onsite and remote attendees can more easily and securely view and interact with content in real time. Employees can instantly start meetings using new or existing displays or projectors. Auto-disconnect and integration of Skype for Business offer customers a seamless meeting experience.

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Grow

For small businesses, Intel is offering Intel Small Business Advantage (Intel SBA), an easy-to-use solution to help small business owners protect and grow their company. It provides small business owners with an easy and centralized way to connect and share information coupled with automatic security and maintenance updates.

Intel SBA includes collaboration features, such as chat and file share, coupled with security capabilities, like the USB blocker, to help keep small business owners in control of their data.

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ASRock SKY OC Overclocks Non-K Intel Skylake CPUs

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Intel® Skylake K series CPUs are on every hardcore overclocker’s wish list, due to the fact that they are the only ones with an unlocked multiplier that allows users to overclock the CPU frequency effortlessly. However, there seems to be a shortage of these ultra high performing processors lately.

Thankfully ASRock has prepared a nice Christmas present for the overclocking community named SKY OC, an alternative for users to overclock any Intel Skylake i7/i5/i3 or even Pentium non-K CPUs on their ASRock Z170 motherboard.

Engineers at ASRock picked up from where they left off last time, and decided that besides DDR4 memory modules, there might be a way to overclock Intel non-K CPUs without tinkering the multiplier. So here you have the game changing SKY OC which is obtainable simply by a BIOS upgrade from ASRock’s official website.

It’s not the same as overclocking an Intel K-series CPU, because it’s mainly changing the BCLK, but it will be an interesting alternative while people are still waiting for their K-series CPUs to come down the chimney. Lab tests show that the once not overclockable Intel Core i5-6400 CPU can now be overclocked up to a 60% frequency boost with SKY OC on ASRock’s Z170 Pro4!

One might wonder, “this is too good to be true, what’s the catch?” Well, if you had to ask, there are two almost unnoticeable limitations. The first one is the onboard Intel graphics will be disabled while ASRock SKY OC is applied, meaning that users are required to install a graphics card. The second limitation is that CPU Turbo Ratio and C-State will also be disabled.

While ASRock SKY OC breathes life into Intel non-K series CPUs, currently it is still exclusive to motherboards with Intel’s Z170 chipset. But have faith in ASRock’s skillful engineers, sooner or later more Christmas gifts from ASRock are going to be delivered.

List of BIOS versions that support ASRock SKY OC:

 

Model BIOS Model BIOS
Z170 OC Formula L1.92 Z170M Pro4 L2.23
Z170 Extreme7+ L2.16 Z170M Pro4S L2.23
Z170 Extreme6+ L1.82 Z170M-ITX/ac L1.83
Z170 Extreme6 L1.82 Z170A-X1/3.1 L1.31
Z170 Extreme4+ L2.01 Z170 Professional Gaming i7 L1.14
Z170 Extreme4 L2.43 Z170 Gaming K6+ L1.92
Z170 Extreme3 L1.61 Z170 Gaming K6 L1.92
Z170M Extreme4 L1.34 Z170 Gaming K4 L2.23
Z170 Pro4 L2.83 Z170 Gaming K4/D3 L1.51
Z170 Pro4/D3 L1.74 Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac L1.53
Z170 Pro4S L2.73

 

 

ASRock SKY OC Disclaimer

  1. Intel® iGPU, CPU Turbo Ratio, AVX and C-State function will be disabled when running SKY OC, a discrete VGA card is required.
  2. [adrotate banner=”4″]For Z170M PRO4S / Z170M-ITX/ac / Z170M Pro4 / Z170M Extreme4, the CPU temperature cannot be read when running SKY OC.
  3. The overclocking results may vary between different CPUs and hardware configurations.
  4. Due to future hardware/firmware updates or other reasons, the availability of SKY OC is subject to change without notice in advance.
  5. There are certain risks involved with overclocking, such as damaging the CPU, memory module, power supply unit, or destabilizing the system. It should be done at your own expense. If you are unsure about the risks of overclocking, please seek professional advice.