An AnandTech Exclusive: The Jim Keller Interview

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You asked for it, and we were able to get 30 minutes with the big man himself. Jim Keller falls into the rockstar category of engineers: lots of ideas with vision and a very successful record. Jim has been able to turn a product market around by leading processor design teams, such as with Apple’s A4 and A5 processors, or AMD’s K8 and Zen microarchitectures. Recently he was hired by Intel as the Senior Vice President of the Silicon Engineering Group, with an emphasis on SoC design and integration, although not much more was said, leaving everyone to scratch their heads as to exactly what projects fall under his remit. With Intel’s money and design at his fingertips, we asked Jim what exactly his role now entails, how he is integrating into Intel, and what the plans are for the future.

The ASRock Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac Motherboard Review: Mini-ITX with Thunderbolt 3

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There’s a lot of love for mini-ITX, and our next review is the ASRock Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac. This gaming-centric board offers users a number of features which make it highly competitive in the small-form-factor overclocking space at $180. Despite the small size, the board includes Thunderbolt 3, Intel-based Wi-Fi and LAN, USB 3.1 support, M.2 storage, and six SATA ports – a rarety on a small motherboard. If everything else goes right, it could be a good contender for a sharp build.

Intel Launches Coffee Lake Xeon E (Entry): The Next-Gen E3-1200

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Today Intel is announcing the Xeon E family of processors. The Xeon E-2100 stack of CPUs will replace the previous generation E3 v6 processors, following Intel’s renaming of their whole Xeon stack, and in line with the workstation-focused Xeon W-2100 family, and the Xeon D-2100 family. The new processors mirror the current Coffee Lake Core processors on the market and will support up to 64GB of ECC memory, but require motherboards with a specalized workstation C246 chipset.  The E in this case stands for ‘Entry’, and these processors aim to be the corner stone of Intel’s portfolio of entry-level workstation parts.

 

Apple Updates MacBook Pro Family for 2018: More CPU Cores, DDR4, & Same Form Factors

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A surprising no-show at this year’s Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference was any kind of hardware refresh for Apple’s Mac products. While WWDC is first and foremost a software development show, it’s also been a convenient event for Apple to announce lower-key refreshes of their existing hardware platforms, as the press and developers are already there and paying attention. So with the MacBook Pro family all but guaranteed to receive a refresh thanks to Intel’s Coffee Lake launch, we had been expecting to see new MacBook Pros around then.

Instead Apple has gone in a slightly different direction (more on that in a sec) but the end result is the same. Today, roughly a month after WWDC, Apple is announcing a more substantial refresh of both the MacBook Pro 13-inch and MacBook Pro 15-inch. The combination of Intel’s Coffee Lake processors and some of Apple’s own innovations such as their T2 controller make this a potentially potent performance upgrade for Apple’s professional-grade workhorses.

The GIGABYTE B360 Gaming 3 WIFI Review: A Cheaper Alternative at $120

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One of GIGABYTE’s first B360 series motherboards in the Gaming 3 WIFI. This is our first review of this new chipset, and it offers users a cheaper way into the 8th generation Intel processors. The GIGABYTE B360 Gaming 3 WIFI includes many of the features found in the Z370 version, and even trumps it in one respect with its ultra-fast Intel CNVi Wi-Fi with speeds up to 1.73 Gbps.

AT 101: Understanding Laptop Displays & How We Test Them

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Everyone might have a different take on what they feel is the single most important factor to consider when purchasing a new laptop, but it would be hard to argue that the display quality shouldn’t be near the top. There’s simply no other part of a notebook computer you’re going to use more. The good news is that display quality has improved immensely in recent years, with even some low-cost notebooks offering a good display.

Microsoft Announces The Surface Go: Smaller And Less Expensive

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Just over three years since the launch of the surprisingly good Surface 3, Microsoft has finally refreshed this category with a new device, now called the Surface Go. The Surface Pro series has been very successful for the company, and they’ve decided it’s time to offer an entry level Surface again. The Redmond company has been working on trying to win back the education market, so a smaller, lighter, and most importantly, less expensive Surface makes a lot of sense.

The Surface Go is the thinnest and lightest Surface yet at just 8.3 mm, down from the 8.7 mm of the Surface 3, and 8.5 mm on the latest Surface Pro, but it undercuts the other models on weight significantly at 521 grams, or 1.15 lbs. That’s a full 31% lighter than the larger Surface Pro.

The display is also smaller, this time coming in at 10-inches in the now familiar 3:2 aspect ratio Microsoft has focused on, and the taller aspect ratio certainly helps on mobile devices such as this that may be used in portrait. It’s an 1800×1200 PixelSense display, with 10-point multi-touch and Surface Pen support. The screen has a reasonable 216 pixels per inch of density, which is pretty much the same as the Surface 3 back in 2015. That’s not quite as high as the Surface Pro or iPad Pro, but should still be fairly clear.

One of the biggest upgrades over the outgoing Surface 3, which was the first of the value-oriented Surface models to ship with an x86 processor, is the move from the quad-core Atom to an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y. This is a dual-core Kaby Lake processor with four threads, and a 1.6 GHz base frequency. With a TDP of just 6W, it’s not going to be a powerhouse, but it’ll still offer solid performance for a device of this size. The low TDP also means that it can be fanless, which it is. The CPU is coupled with the Intel HD Graphics 615, which offers 24 Execution Units (EUs), although at just 850 MHz maximum boost. Still, that should offer a good jump over the Atom in the previous model.

The base model comes with just 4 GB of LPDDR3-1866, and 64 GB of eMMC storage, although it will be offered in 8 GB RAM versions with 128 GB and 256 GB SSDs, which should offer much better performance.

Microsoft Surface Go
  Surface Go Specifications
CPU Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (Kaby Lake-Y)
2 core, 4 thread, 1.6 GHz base frequency
GPU Intel HD 615
24 EUs 850 MHz boost frequency
Display 10-inch PixelSense
1800×1200 3:2 aspect
10-point Multitouch
Surface Pen support
Dimensions 245 x 175 x 8.3 mm
9.6 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches
RAM 4 or 8 GB LPDDR3-1866
Storage 64 GB eMMC
128 / 256 GB SSD optional
Wireless 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.1
LTE Optional
Battery Up to 9 hours of video playback
24W Charger
Cameras Windows Hello IR camera
5 MP Front Camera with 1080p video
8 MP Rear Camera with 1080p video
Ports USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1
Surface Connect
MicroSD
Headset
Price 4GB/64GB $399
8GB/128GB $549
Windows 10 Pro $50 extra

The Surface 3 was charged with micro USB, but the Surface Go steps up to the 24-Watt magnetic Surface Connect found on the rest of the mobile Surface lineup, and it also includes a USB 3.1 Gen 1 with a Type C connector, and they’ve kept the expandable storage with MicroSD included.

Microsoft has also included an IR camera for Windows Hello login, along with a 5 MP front camera for 1080p video, and an 8 MP rear camera. For those that want to use it on the go (pun intended) there will be an LTE model available too, which makes sense with Microsoft’s push towards Always Connected PCs.

Microsoft is claiming up to 9 hours of battery life which they tested doing video playback on the top end model.

Microsoft is also launching a new Surface Type Cover for the smaller model, featuring the same Alcantara as its larger siblings, or as just black if you prefer that. Microsoft has also found a way to fit their full-friction hinge to the smaller Surface Go, allowing for up to 165° of movement.

The new low-end Surface Go looks like a great replacement for the Surface 3, offering a way into the Surface lineup at a much more affordable price. The move to Kaby Lake will be a major boon to performance as well. Prices start at $399 for the base model, $449 for the same model with Windows 10 Pro, or $549 for 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD. The 256 GB and LTE models will ship later. Pre-orders should be available soon.

Source: Microsoft

The HP EX920 M.2 SSD Review: Finding the Mainstream Sweet Spot

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Historically, HP has not been a big player in the consumer storage market. Recently however, the HP brand has been used for several SSDs based on reference designs for Silicon Motion’s SSD controllers. The HP EX920 SSD puts Silicon Motion’s high-end NVMe SSD controller into a drive that is far cheaper than other flagship NVMe SSDs. The EX920 can’t always match the performance of the fastest drives on the market, but it comes close enough for a much lower price. As a result, the drive has a very solid foothold as the mainstream NVMe SSD to beat.

iBuyPower Element Gaming PC Review: i7-8086K and GTX 1080 Ti Inside

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It has been a long while since AnandTech has reviewed full-sized systems, as most of our readers tend to build PCs for themselves. There is however quite a large contingent of PC users who buy off the shelves/website from companies like such as iBuyPower who build custom PCs. Today we are looking at a custom build using their Element chassis, which gives users a tempered glass chassis, some RGB bling, and some quite capable hardware inside with the latest Intel i7-8086K as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Read on to see how it’s built and how well it performs in our testing. 

The NVIDIA Titan V Deep Learning Deep Dive: It’s All About The Tensor Cores

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When we last discussed the NVIDIA Titan V in our preview, it was only a few weeks after its surprise launch at NIPS 2017. We came away with the understanding that the Volta-based Titan V was a new breed of NVIDIA’s Titan, their prosumer line of video cards, one that essentially encapsulated NVIDIA’s recent compute achievements and how they got there. Which is to say, deep learning and neural networking has quickly become the driving force behind NVIDIA GPUs as state-of-the-art compute accelerators, now incorporating built-in with hardware and software acceleration for machine learning operations. Deep learning prowess is the calling card of the Titan V and of Volta in general, and that performance is what we will be investigating today.

The Kingston A1000 NVMe SSD Review: Phison E8 Revisited

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Kingston’s first low-end NVMe SSD is the A1000, using Toshiba’s latest 64-layer 3D TLC NAND and the Phison E8 controller. The price isn’t quite down to SATA SSD levels, and the performance is nowhere near as impressive as high-end NVMe SSDs. The A1000 is in a tight spot where it offers a small step up from SATA performance for a not so small price premium.

Zen and Vega DDR4 Memory Scaling on AMD’s APUs

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We have previously explored the importance of memory scaling within AMDs Ryzen CPUs: the question being answered today is how much of an effect on performance does the memory frequency have when Zen is paired with AMD’s own Vega graphics core. We run a complete suite of tests on AMD’s Ryzen 3 2200G ($99) and Ryzen 5 2400G ($169) APUs with memory speeds from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3466 using a kit of G.Skill Ripjaws V.

The GIGABYTE X399 DESIGNARE EX Motherboard Review

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In this review we are having a look at GIGABYTE’s currently best AMD X399 motherboard, the Designare EX. The specifications of the motherboard are impressive, and the design of the board certainly makes it stand out from the rest. The X399 Designare EX is slightly more competitively priced compared to its competition as well. We closely examine its features and capabilities in this review.

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G Core Frequency Scaling: An Analysis

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When AMD launched their first generation Ryzen-based APUs with a Zen cores and Vega graphics, both of the new parts entered the market at two very different budget-focused price points. The Ryzen 3 2200G, sitting at $99 for a quad-core CPU with Vega graphics was an amazing feat, and Ryzen 5 2400G coming in at $169 became the new integrated graphics champion. In our run of performance analysis articles, the question being asked today are relatively simple ones: ‘how well do the new AMD Ryzen 2000 series APUs scale with core frequency’? We test our APUs for standard benchmark performance, discrete gaming performance, and integrated graphics performance.

The AnandTech Podcast, Episode 48: Computex 2018

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Wrapping up Computex 2018 with discussions about AMD’s Threadripper 2 with 32 cores, Intel’s new limited edition Core i7-8086K, and that really odd 28-core 5 GHz demo where Intel forgot to mention it was overclocked. Also some discussion on the best of the rest of the show, including G.Skill’s Royal memory, gaming smartphones, ASUS’ dual screen technologies, Intel’s QLC NAND, and hardware for miners.

The AnandTech Podcast, Episode 48

Featuring

Ian Cutress, Host
Senior Editor
@IanCutress
Anton Shilov
News Editor
@antonshilov

iTunes

RSS – mp3m4a

Direct Links – mp3m4a

Total Time:  1 hour 42 minutes 37 seconds

Outline mm:ss

00:00 Introduction
01:07 Defining Extreme Workstation Processors (Intel and AMD)
02:53 AMD’s Threadripper 2 announcement
10:51 Intel 28 core CPU at 5 GHz (overclocked)
33:24 Intel Core i7-8086K processor (Intel’s first 5 GHz CPU)
41:59 Alva Jonathan (JagatReview) hits 7.2 GHz with LN2 on i7-8086K CPU
46:26 ASUS ROG Gaming Smartphone announced
52:13 G.Skill showcase Royal DDR4 memory
53:58 Tyan announce Ryzen with BMC
55:22 ASUS TUF Alliance going to be everywhere soon
58:14 ASUS Precog with dual screen prototype revealed and new Zenbook Pro
63:34 Intel 3D QLC and Micron 96-layer flash memory
67:10 UFS card readers: SMI, JMicron with finished designs out later in 2018
70:00 Realtek RTS 5762 SSD Controller, 3.5 Gbps read, 3 Gbps write
72:55 Plextor Quad SSD system featuring a Marvell PCIe switch
76:33 Seagate reveal Barracuda Pro 14 TB hard drive
78:32 802.11ax routers displayed from ASUS
80:05 Computex RGB focus over last few years
81:37 In Win Crown fans with rotating sub frame
83:09 Lian Li Strimer RGB PSU cable
88:06 Enermax $70 case with four RGB fans
89:18 3000 W PSUs from Afox and Qdion
96:52 Liquid-cooled mining systems, support for 16 cards per 4U rack
102:38 FIN

Edited by Gavin Bonshor

Related Reading

The Huawei P20 & P20 Pro Review

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Following the April launch of the new Huawei P20 Pro and P20, we have a look again at a detailed view of the how the device performs in terms of performance, battery life, and more importantly, just how exactly that 40MP camera performs in everyday scenarios. We’ll see some interesting suprises such as some outstanding battery life from Huawei’s new flagships along with some a new tier in terms of low-light photography. Stay tuned for the full review.

We Found a Prototype 4 TB Intel QLC SSD

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The storage industry is getting exciting again. In order to increase capacity of NAND SSDs and lower costs, there are two different routes being taken: either increase the number of bits per cell from 3bpc (TLC) to 4bpc (QLC) for a 33% increase, or increase the number of TLC layers per chip from 64 layers to 96 layers for a 50% increase. Each method has benefits and issues, however we have been waiting for the two technologies to actually be found on upcoming drives (rather than just on a press release). As part of the show we found a 4 TB SATA-based drive using a Maxio Technology controller and Intel’s latest QLC NAND flash, as well as a drive each from Maxio and SMI using Micron’s latest 96-layer TLC memory. We also scored some data on the speeds, as well as the state of play of each of the technologies, including the current P/E cycles of the QLC.

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