The Intel Xeon W-3175X Review: 28 Unlocked Cores, $2999

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Intel has always ensured that its high-end server platforms, one where multiple CPUs can act as a single system, have the highest core count processors. These servers go into the most expensive deployments, so they can afford the most expensive silicon to produce. The consumer market by contrast is very price sensitive by comparison, so consumers get fewer cores. However, consumers have always asked for a way of getting all of those cores, preferably in an overclockable chip, at more reasonable prices. Intel has answered your call, with the Xeon W-3175X. All 28-cores, all the time. This is our review.

 

CES 2019 Question and Answer Session with AMD CEO, Dr. Lisa Su

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One of the major highlights of CES was the reveal of AMD’s next generation Matisse processor. With the cores built on TSMC’s 7nm process, the demonstration of the eight core processor showed performance parity with Intel’s latest eight core, 5 GHz consumer processor – all while consuming less power than the Intel part. AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, was on stage to present both Matisse, due for launch in the middle of 2019, and the new line of Radeon VII graphics cards, also using TSMC’s 7nm. We caught up with Lisa for part of a roundtable Q&A session after the keynote presentation.

Honor Launches The View20: A 48MP Camera Review

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Last week Honor launched its new 2019 flagship device: the Honor View20. The new flagship phone is the follow-up to last year’s View10, a new segment entry in Honor’s usual line-up. The View series is characterised by their early adoption of full-screen, minimalistic bezel designs; last year’s View10 was one of the early devices bringing 18:9 aspect ratio screens to the masses, while this year’s new View20 further improves the screen-to-body ratio with the introduction of a hole-in-display front-camera setup.

While the hole-in-display camera setup of the View20 is certainly its first striking design characteristic, Honor is also positioning the View20 as a special camera phone as it is one of the first of a wave of 48MP camera sensor devices sporting Sony’s new IMX586.

The HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review: A New High-End Challenger

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Today we’re taking a look at the latest addition in HyperX’s arsenal of gaming peripherals, the Alloy Elite RGB. Based around genuine Cherry MX RGB Red switches, the latest version of the Alloy Elite mechanical keyboard goes well beyond its predecessor, adding advanced programmability options, improved software, and RGB lighting. As a result, HyperX’s latest keyboard is a much stronger contender for the high-end mechanical keyboard market.

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus (250GB, 1TB) NVMe SSD Review: 96-Layer 3D NAND

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Samsung is updating its mainstream NVMe SSD with a new generation of 3D NAND that brings improved performance and power efficiency. The new ‘Samsung 970 EVO Plus’ keeps the same controller as last year’s 970 EVO, but the upgrade to 96-layer 3D TLC NAND is important enough to deserve the new product name. In our review, we’ve been testing the 250GB and 1TB NVMe M.2 models.

The Western Digital WD Black SN750 SSD Review: Why Fix What Isn’t Broken?

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Last year Western Digital overhauled their WD Black NVMe SSD with an upgrade to 3D NAND and a new in-house SSD controller, transforming the product line from one of the slowest NVMe drives to one of the top high-end competitors. Now the third generation WD Black SSD is here, with the model number SN750 to avoid confusion with its predecessors. (Internally, last year’s model was known as the SN700, and the OEM version was the SN720.) The new WD Black SN750 is an incremental update over last year’s model, keeping the same basic controller and 64L 3D NAND combination but refining the firmware and adding a 2TB option. Western Digital is also shifting their marketing efforts more toward gamers with the addition of SKUs featuring a large heatsink.

The Snapdragon 855 Performance Preview: Setting the Stage for Flagship Android 2019

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As we get ever closer to the releases of various Android vendor’s newest generation devices, Qualcomm continues its tradition of showcasing the performance of its newest generation SoC ahead of time, giving us a preview and a glimpse of what to expect of the upcoming commercial devices. This year, the company has shuffled the schedule around a bit, and instead of hosting the event at their San Diego headquarters, and we were able to get a hands-on with the Snapdragon 855 at CES before the show had started. Today we’re be looking in quite extensive detail on how exactly the new Snapdragon chipset performs, as well as shedding some light on some important unanswered technical questions on some aspects of the SoC.

The $60 CPU Question: AMD Athlon 200GE or Intel Pentium Gold G5400? A Review

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In the course of our reviews, when we get a chance to get hands on with random processors, we run our test suite and add the data to our database. Sometimes that doesn’t materialize directly into a review, but at least we have the data. Two very similar CPUs have come across my desk recently: AMD’s dual core Athlon 200GE, and Intel’s Pentium G5400. Both chips are around the $60 mark, have some form of integrated graphics, and are aimed at the cheapest systems.

AMD Reveals Radeon VII: High-End 7nm Vega Video Card Arrives February 7th for $699

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As it turns out, the video card wars are going to charge into 2019 quite a bit hotter than any of us were expecting. Moments ago, as part of AMD’s CES 2019 keynote, CEO Dr. Lisa Su announced that AMD will be releasing a new high-end, high-performance Radeon graphics card. Dubbed the Radeon VII (Seven), AMD has their eyes set on countering NVIDIA’s previously untouchable GeForce RTX 2080. And, if the card lives up to AMD’s expectations, then come February 7th it may just as well do that.

Today’s announcement is interesting in that it’s just as much about technology as it is the 3D chess that is the market positioning fights between AMD and NVIDIA. Technically AMD isn’t announcing any new GPUs here – regular readers will correctly guess that we’re talking about Vega 20 – but the situation in the high-end market has played out such that there’s now a window for AMD to bring their cutting-edge Vega 20 GPU to the consumer market, and this is a window AMD is looking to take full advantage of.

At a high level then, the Radeon VII employs a slightly cut down version of AMD’s Vega 20 GPU. With 60 of 64 CUs enabled, it actually has a few less CUs than AMD’s previous flagship, the Radeon RX Vega 64, but it makes up for the loss with much higher clockspeeds and a much more powerful memory and pixel throughput backend. As a result, AMD says that the Radeon VII should beat their former flagship by anywhere between 20% and 42% depending on the game (with an overall average of 29%), which on paper would be just enough to put the card in spitting distance of NVIDIA’s RTX 2080, and making it a viable and competitive 4K gaming card.

Intel’s Keynote at CES 2019: 10nm, Ice Lake, Lakefield, Snow Ridge, Cascade Lake

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This year it seems that Intel is finally ready to talk about 10nm. After next-to-nothing on the subject at CES 2018, Intel is now talking about three new processor families: Ice Lake, Lakefield, and Snow Ridge. Despite the naming, it looks like Intel might be coming in out of the cold, to finally let it go, and roadmaps on upcoming products are being discussed.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB Founders Edition Review: Not Quite Mainstream

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Launching next Tuesday, January 15th is the 4th member of the GeForce RTX family: the GeForce RTX 2060. Based on a cut-down version of the same TU106 GPU that’s in the RTX 2070, this new part shaves off some of RTX 2070’s performance, but also a good deal of its price tag in the process. And for this launch, like the other RTX cards last year, NVIDIA is taking part by releasing their own GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition card, which we are taking a look at today.

NVIDIA Announces GeForce RTX 2060: Starting At $349, Available January 15th

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Kicking off CES 2019 with a surprisingly announcement-packed keynote session, NVIDIA this evening has announced the next member of the GeForce RTX video card family: the GeForce RTX 2060. The newest and now cheapest member of the RTX 20 series continues the cascade of Turing-architecture product releases towards cheaper and higher volume market segments. Designed to offer performance around the outgoing GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, the new card will hit the streets next week on January 15th, with prices starting at $349.

We don’t yet have top-to-bottom specifications for the card, but based on the information NVIDIA has released thus far, it looks like the GeForce RTX 2060 is based on a cut-down version of the TU106 GPU that’s already being used in the GeForce RTX 2070. This is notable because until now, NVIDIA has used a different GPU for each RTX card – TU102/2080TI, TU104/2080, TU106/2070 – making this the first such card in the family. It’s also a bit of a shift from the status quo for GeForce xx60 parts in general, which have traditionally always featured their own GPU, with NVIDIA going smaller to reduce costs.

AMD Radeon Series Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon VII AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 AMD Radeon RX 590 AMD Radeon R9 Fury X
Stream Processors 3840
(60 CUs)
4096
(64 CUs)
2304
(36 CUs)
4096
(64 CUs)
ROPs 128 64 32 64
Base Clock ? 1247MHz 1469MHz N/A
Boost Clock 1800MHz 1546MHz 1545MHz 1050MHz
Memory Clock 2.0Gbps HBM2 1.89Gbps HBM2 8Gbps GDDR5 1Gbps HBM
Memory Bus Width 4096-bit 2048-bit 256-bit 4096-bit
VRAM 16GB 8GB 8GB 4GB
Single Precision Perf. 13.8 TFLOPS 12.7 TFLOPS 7.1 TFLOPS 8.6 TFLOPS
Board Power 300W? 295W 225W 275W
Manufacturing Process TSMC 7nm GloFo 14nm GloFo/Samsung 12nm TSMC 28nm
GPU Vega 20 Vega 10 Polaris 30 Fiji
Architecture Vega
(GCN 5)
Vega
(GCN 5)
GCN 4 GCN 3
PCIe 4.0 x16
3.0 x16
3.0 x16 3.0 x16 3.0 x16
Transistor Count 13.2B 12.5B 5.7B 8.9B
Launch Date 02/07/2019 08/14/2017 11/15/2018 06/24/2015
Launch Price $699 $599
NVIDIA GeForce Specification Comparison
  RTX 2060 Founders Edition GTX 1060 6GB GTX 1070 RTX 2070
CUDA Cores 1920 1280 1920 2304
ROPs 48? 48 64 64
Core Clock 1365MHz 1506MHz 1506MHz 1410MHz
Boost Clock 1680MHz 1709MHz 1683MHz 1620MHz
FE: 1710MHz
Memory Clock 14Gbps GDDR6 8Gbps GDDR5 8Gbps GDDR5 14Gbps GDDR6
Memory Bus Width 192-bit 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit
VRAM 6GB 6GB 8GB 8GB
Single Precision Perf. 6.5 TFLOPS 4.4 TFLOPs 6.5 TFLOPS 7.5 TFLOPs
FE: 7.9 TFLOPS
"RTX-OPS" 37T N/A N/A 45T
SLI Support No No Yes No
TDP 160W 120W 150W 175W
FE: 185W
GPU TU106? GP106 GP104 TU106
Architecture Turing Pascal Pascal Turing
Manufacturing Process TSMC 12nm "FFN" TSMC 16nm TSMC 16nm TSMC 12nm "FFN"
Launch Date 1/15/2019 7/19/2016 6/10/2016 10/17/2018
Launch Price $349 MSRP: $249
FE: $299
MSRP: $379
FE: $449
MSRP: $499
FE: $599

In any case, let’s dive into the numbers. The GeForce RTX 2060 sports 1920 CUDA cores, meaning we’re looking at a 30 SM configuration, versus RTX 2070’s 36 SMs. As the core architecture of Turing is designed to scale with the number of SMs, this means that all of the core compute features are being scaled down similarly, so the 17% drop in SMs means a 17% drop in the RT Core count, a 17% drop in the tensor core count, a 17% drop in the texture unit count, a 17% drop in L0/L1 caches, etc.

Unsurprisingly, clockspeeds are going to be very close to NVIDIA’s other TU106 card, RTX 2070. The base clockspeed is down a bit to 1365MHz, but the boost clock is up a bit to 1680MHz. So on the whole, RTX 2060 is poised to deliver around 87% of the RTX 2070’s compute/RT/texture performance, which is an uncharacteristically small gap between a xx70 card and an xx60 card. In other words, the RTX 2060 is in a good position to punch above its weight in compute/shading performance.

However TU106 has taken a bigger trim on the backend, and in workloads that aren’t pure compute, the drop will be a bit harder. The card is shipping with just 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, as opposed to 8GB on its bigger brother. The result of this is that NVIDIA is not populating 2 of TU106’s 8 memory controllers, resulting in a 192-bit memory bus and meaning that with the use of 14Gbps GDDR6, RTX 2060 only offers 75% of the memory bandwidth of the RTX 2070. Or to put this in numbers, the RTX 2060 will offer 336GB/sec of bandwidth to the RTX 2070’s 448GB/sec.

And since the memory controllers, ROPs, and L2 cache are all tied together very closely in NVIDIA’s architecture, this means that ROP throughput and the amount of L2 cache are also being shaved by 25%. So for graphics workloads the practical performance drop is going to be greater than the 13% mark for compute throughput, but also generally less than the 25% mark for ROP/memory throughput.

I also have some specific concerns here about the inclusion of just 6GB of VRAM – especially in an era where game consoles are shipping with 8 to 12GB of VRAM – but this is something we can look at later with the eventual review.

Moving on, NVIDIA is rating the RTX 2060 for a TDP of 160W. This is down from the RTX 2070, but only slightly, as those cards are rated for 175W. Cut-down GPUs have limited options for reducing their power consumption, so

Investigating NVIDIA’s Jetson AGX: A Look at Tegra Xavier and Its Carmel Cores

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Today’s piece is a bit of an unusual review; NVIDIA’s new Jetson AGX embedded system kit isn’t really a device platform we’re expecting the average reader to think about, much less buy. NVIDIA’s shift over the last few years from offering consumer grade Tegra chipsets to more specialised silicon applications isn’t any more evident than in the new Tegra Xavier which powers the Jetson AGX. While the board’s capabilities certainly fall outside of the use-cases of most consumers, it still represents a very interesting platform with a lot of functionality and silicon IP that we don’t find in any other device to this day. So when NVIDIA reached out to offer us a sample, we decided to have a go at assembling a high-level overview of what the board and the new Xavier chip can do.

The Enterpise TLC Storage Era Begins: Rounding Up 13 SSDs With Samsung, Intel, and Memblaze

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It’s been a busy year for consumer SSDs. With all the NAND flash manufacturers now shipping high-quality 3D NAND in volume, we’ve seen more competition than ever, and huge price drops. NVMe is starting to go mainstream and Samsung is no longer sitting atop that market segment unchallenged. But not all of the interesting SSD advancements have been in the consumer realm. We’ve reported on new datacenter SSD form factors, the introduction of QLC NAND and enterprise SSDs with staggering capacities, but we haven’t been publishing much in the way of traditional product reviews for enterprise/datacenter SSDs.

Today we’re looking at several recent models that cover the wide range of enterprise SSDs, from entry-level SATA drives based on the same hardware as mainstream consumer SSDs, up to giants that deliver 1M IOPS over a PCIe x8 connection while pulling more than 20W.

AnandTech Year in Review 2018: SSDs

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Rounding out our series of articles taking a look back at 2018, the past year has been one of the most exciting years in the SSD space since the drives started to go mainstream. Competition is up and prices are down. Existing technologies like 3D NAND and NVMe are now delivering their full potential, and new technologies like QLC NAND are off to a good start.

AnandTech Year In Review 2018: Flagship Mobile

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As we’re drawing to a close of the calendar year, it is time to look back and revisit what 2018 has brought to the mobile space. Unlike the PC industry, the mobile space follows a quite unrelenting and precise release schedule – meaning that we’re guaranteed new products every year: This can be a double-edged sword for new flagship mobile devices, as new technologies can be either ready at the leading edge of a new product cycle – or in the worst case they can miss the current generation altogether by a few months and have to be relegated to the next generation. Overall, smartphone companies have an incredibly complex task at hand in attempting to deliver products that not only represent an improvement to last year’s devices, but also to be able to distinguish themselves from the current competition. In this piece, we’ll have a closer look at the distinguishing trends of 2018 and how major players have executed their strategies this cycle.

AnandTech Year in Review 2018: CPUs

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When Ryan initially asked me to write a roundup of the year’s news on CPUs, I laughed. There has been a lot going on this year, from processor releases and reviews, to security issues, to discussions about the next few years of computing. However a couple of weeks ago I wrote a script to pull every AnandTech article out of our archive to filter into my own database for analysis. It turns out that the AT staff between us have written just shy of 200 news articles and longer format reviews about CPUs this year, and here are the highlights.

ECS LIVA Z2 and Intel June Canyon NUC7PJYH Gemini Lake UCFF PCs Review

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Small form-factor PCs have become a major growth segment over the last decade. On one hand, we have UCFF (ultra-compact form-factor) PCs revolutionize the desktop PC market. On the other hand, they have had an impact on the embedded and industrial market segment also. Intel has two different CPU architectures – the Core used in the premium market, and the Atom used for the entry-level. The pricing of Atom-based SoCs make it an attractive proposition for economical desktop PCs as well as industrial motherboards and systems. Atom-based SoCs are long-life products, with Gemini Lake being the most recent SoC family in that product line. Today, we take a look at two contrasting Gemini Lake UCFF PCs – the fanless ECS LIVA Z2 and the actively cooled Intel NUC7PJYH.

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