|AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2950X CPU reviewed||43|
|SteelSeries' Rival 600 gaming mouse reviewed||13|
|AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX CPU reviewed||161|
Greetings, folks! All the buzz of the moment is about the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards, and as well it should be. Those cards promise to meld rasterization and ray tracing in an efficient way, something that may turn out to be a permanent improvement in computer graphics. We'll reserve final judgment until we've had a close look at them, of course. Meanwhile, here's today's selection of deals. Enjoy!
That's all for today, folks! There's a chance you're looking for something we haven't covered. If that's the case, you can help The Tech Report by using the following referral links when you're out shopping: not only do we have a partnership with Newegg and Amazon, but we also work with Best Buy, Adorama, Rakuten, Walmart, and Sam's Club. For more specific needs, you can also shop with our links at Das Keyboard's shop.MSI cooks up RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards in multiple flavors
MSI was at the front of the pack today when everyone scrambled to announce Turing-based graphics cards. The company put out an early press release and microsite promising GeForce RTX 20-series cards from its Aero, Ventus, Sea Hawk, Duke, and Gaming X lines. However, only the Duke and Gaming X Trio cards have broken cover so far. Let's have a look at them.
As it turns out, for the RTX 2080-series cards, MSI is using a new Gaming X Trio nomenclature. That comes as a natural result of the new cards ditching the company's previous Twin Frozr VI cooler used on the 10-series Gaming X boards and going with a newly designed triple-fan cooler bearing modest RGB LED accents. Both the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 are getting Gaming X Trio versions.
Both cards will come with a trio of DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, a single HDMI 2.0b jack, and a USB Type-C connector with VirtualLink support. MSI is really going all-out making sure that overclockers have enough power to play with: the RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio requires a pair of eight-pin power connectors, while the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Trio requires two eight-pin connectors plus an additional six-pin connector. Unsurprisingly, the cards' huge heatsinks require three expansion slots.
MSI has also unveiled RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards in the Duke family. For those unfamiliar, offerings in MSI's Duke series use an extremely long 12.3" (31.5 cm) triple-fan cooler. These cards have the same port cluster as the Gaming X Trio series cards, but they don't have the beefed-up power delivery. That means the Duke RTX 2080 needs a six-pin and an eight-pin connector, while the Duke RTX 2080 Ti takes a pair of eight-pin plugs. The Duke cards also fit in two slots, more or less.
We can assume that MSI will continue launching GeForce RTX cards from its other families in the coming months. For now, you can preorder some of the models above. Newegg is listing the RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio for a reference-matching $800, and the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio for a similarly-standard $1200. Over at Amazon you can find the same listing for the RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio alongside a listing for the RTX 2080 Duke for the same $800.Zotac hosts a quartet of RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Tis
We've covered RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti-based cards from the major players so far, but those companies aren't the only ones in town with pixel-pushers bearing Nvidia's latest tech. Zotac too has four graphics cards on display: the Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP and Triple Fan, along with the GeForce RTX 2080 Blower and AMP.
Let's take a closer look at the power quartet. Kicking off from the bottom, the GeForce RTX 2080 Blower, much like its name implies, has a blower-style cooler, 8 GB of 14 GT/s GDDR6 memory, and a connector loadout comprising three DisplayPorts, a single HDMI output, and a USB Type-C port. While most manufacturers are keeping their cards' clock speeds under wraps, Zotac says the chip in the RTX 2080 Blower has the Nvidia-default boost clock of 1710 MHz. Despite the basic cooler, this card has a metal back plate.
Meanwhile, the GeForce RTX 2080 Amp ups the ante with a 2.5-slot, three-fan cooler with RGB LED lighting. That appears to be the main difference versus the card above, and Zotac elected not to utter this version's clock speed out loud.
Things get a little more serious with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Triple Fan model. This cooler appears to be similar to that of the RTX 2080 Amp model above. Zotac does let on that the GPU's boost clock hums along at the stock 1545 MHz, though we'd expect this figure to be higher in practice. Last but not least, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Amp is probably the speediest of all four cards, though Zotac doesn't say how fast its chip will tick in use.
Two of the cards have already shown up at e-tail. The Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 Amp will set buyers back $840 at Newegg, while the big-momma GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Amp rings in at $1200. The cards are also available in a number of bundles with Intel CPUs or Samsung SSDs.Gigabyte readies four GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards
Nvidia's board partners are releasing an onslaught of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 cards, and Gigabyte has its own quartet of ray-tracing-ready hardware in the wings. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 are both getting a triple-fan treatment from Gigabyte's engineers.
First off, the company has two RTX 2080 Ti cards ready to rumble. The RTX 2080 Ti Windforce OC 11G and Gaming OC 11G share a cooler design, but they'll likely offer different clock speeds once all is said and done. We don't know those clock speeds yet, so it's hard to say just how much they'll differ in practice. The Gaming OC 11G will presumably be the hotter-clocked model, since it costs more.
Both cards come with the standard RTX 2080 Ti complement of 11 GB of GDDR6 RAM, three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, a USB Type-C connector with VirtualLink support, and an HDMI 2.0b port. Gamers can add an NVLink bridge to these cards to enable two-way multi-GPU rendering. Gigabyte's triple-fan cooler has a full-coverage metal back plate and RGB LED accents.
The RTX 2080 gets a similar treatment from Gigabyte. In fact, unless we told you otherwise, we doubt you'd be able to tell the company's RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti apart. We get Windforce OC 8G and Gaming OC 8G RTX 2080 cards with similar coolers, and the Gaming OC 8G will likely have the hotter clocks.
Like their RTX 2080 Ti cousins, each of the RTX 2080 duo come with three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, a USB Type-C connector with VirtualLink support, and an HDMI 2.0b port. They also have full-coverage backplates and RGB LED accents.
Gigabyte's takes on the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti are up for pre-order now. The RTX 2080 Windforce OC 8G will list for $790 at Newegg and Amazon. The RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G will go for $830 from the 'egg and at Amazon. The RTX 2080 Ti Windforce OC 11G will list for $1170 at Amazon and Newegg, while the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming OC 11G is $1200 from the ovo novum and at Amazon.EVGA has a sweet sixteen RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards
Given what transpired at Gamescom today, we figure that "2080" will be the most oft-repeated number and word for at least a good while. EVGA is on board with Nvidia's recently released Turing GPUs and is readying up a whopping 16 cards. The manufacturer's offerings are split down the middle between GeForce RTX 2080 Ti-based units and cards based on the RTX 2080.
To wit, EVGA has cards with either chip in several versions. The most basic one is an plain, unnamed option with a dual-slot, blower-style cooler. Black and XC versions have dual-slot, dual-fan coolers. The XC Ultra variants employ a 2.75-slot dual-fan cooling apparatus. Up from there, EVGA has XC and XC2 versions with sensor-ridden iCX2 coolers bearing two fans. The top-end takes are the FTW3 and FTW3 Ultra options with three-fan iCX coolers. Those versions also have improved power delivery hardware: 14 phases for the RTX 2080 instead of the usual 10, and 19 instead of 16 for the RTX 2080 Ti.
There's currently no information on cards' clock speeds. The company tweaked its cooler designs a little, though. EVGA says its improved iCX2 design is cooler and quieter than previous versions, and that its newer hydro-dynamic-bearing fans are longer-lasting. Judging from EVGA's RTX 2080-series landing page, coolers other than the most basic one have interchangeable trims underneath the main shroud. The high-end three-fan versions also have an optional grille (that EVGA calls a shield) that can be placed atop the fans.
Despite the list of sixteen cards, there are only currently four versions in EVGA's product pages. The port loadout for all these versions includes three DisplayPorts, an HDMI output, and a USB Type-C port with VirtualLink support. The EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 XC Gaming has a dual-slot, dual-fan cooler, 8 GB of 14 GT/s memory, a three-year warranty, and goes for $750. Its XC Ultra Gaming brother has a 2.75-slot cooler, presumably higher clocks, and an $850 price tag. You'll need six-pin and eight-pin PCIe power connectors for these cards.
Over at the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti aisle, the XC Gaming variant has 11 GB of 14 GT/s memory, a dual-fan cooler, and needs two eight-pin power connectors. This card will set you back $1150. Once again, the XC Ultra Gaming take comes with a 2.75-slot cooler and will sing your wallet a lullaby of $1250. All the cards are covered by EVGA's Step Up program that gives buyers a 90-day period in which they can upgrade their card by paying the price difference to the new model.Asus’ flock of GeForce RTX cards takes flight
Did you watch Nvidia's presentation at Gamescom today? Even if you didn't, if you're reading this site, you're doubtless aware that Nvidia announced its next-generation GeForce graphics cards. Naturally, all of the board vendors are following on with their own announcements for new cards based on the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti GPUs. Asus has cards coming for both GPUs from its ROG Strix, Dual, and Turbo families.
Surely most TR readers will be familiar with the ROG Strix branding. There are no less than three ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards on the way: the 11G-GAMING, A11G-GAMING, and O11G-GAMING versions. There will also be three ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 (non-Ti) cards on the way with essentially the same designations: 8G-GAMING, A8G-GAMING, and O8G-GAMING. All six will come with a pair of HDMI 2.0b ports, a pair of DisplayPort 1.4 connections, and a USB Type-C output with VirtualLink support.
Nobody's talking clock rates for factory OC'd Turing processors yet so there really aren't any differences to discern in these cards, at least for now. Asus does note that the cooler for these cards has 20% more surface area than the previous-generation ROG Strix cooler. The extra area comes from the cards spilling over into the third expansion slot with a "2.7-slot" design.
The Dual (stylized DUAL by Asus) family of cards is Asus' more basic brand. As the name implies, they usually come with dual-fan axial coolers. Just like the ROG Strix cards above, there will be three models of RTX 2080 Ti Dual cards, and three models of RTX 2080 Dual cards. Once again, without clock rates there's very little to differentiate the models.
Notably, all of the Dual cards will also be using a triple-slot heatsink. Because of the extra weight, the Dual cards will all include aluminum backplates. The Dual cards will include the VirtualLink-enabled Type-C port of the ROG Strix cards, but lose one of the HDMI ports for a third DisplayPort connector.
Finally, Asus will also be launching a single card for each GPU with the Turbo branding. Turbo has historically been Asus' brand for cards that come with a reference-style blower cooler with a centrifugal fan. Asus actually provides clock speeds for the Turbo cards, and both the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti match the reference numbers provided by Nvidia.
The Turbo models once again retain the USB Type-C output, but lose one of the DisplayPort connectors compared to the Dual cards. That leaves them with a single HDMI 2.0b and two DisplayPort 1.4 connectors. It seems likely that the exclusion of the third DisplayPort connector was required so that the two-slot Turbo cards could have sufficient exhaust for their 80-mm blowers.
Asus doesn't say anything about its recommended prices but instead remarks that some of the cards are up for preorder already. Over at Amazon, we found early listings putting the RTX 2080 Ti Dual O11G version at $1240 and the RTX 2080 Ti Turbo at $1210. Its smaller non-Ti sibling shows up in Dual O8G form for $840, while the ROG Strix RTX 2080 is listed but doesn't have a price yet. All of those same listings are available at Newegg, too: RTX 2080 Ti Dual O11G for $1240, RTX 2080 Ti Turbo for $1210, and RTX 2080 Dual O8G for $840. Newegg puts a $870 price tag on the ROG Strix RTX 2080 O8G but it is currently not available for pre-order.Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070
Alongside CEO Jensen Huang's pre-Gamescom keynote, Nvidia unveiled three new GeForce graphics cards using the Turing architecture. The GTX 2080 Ti uses a Turing GPU capable of up to 14 TFLOPS of single-precision floating-point performance for traditional rasterization, while the RTX 2080 measures in at about 10.5 TFLOPS, and the RTX 2070 is capable of about 8 TFLOPS.
Turing GPUs also include RT cores for accelerating operations important to ray-tracing such as testing bounding volume hierarchies and ray-triangle intersection, plus Nvidia's tensor cores for performing AI denoising of raytraced scene elements. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang says the processing power of these accelerated elements of the chip will require new measures of performance to account for the heterogeneous usage of resources to produce hybrid-rendered scenes, as those resources could account for tens of tera-ops beyond the typical single-precision FLOPS count.
The new cards rely on Nvidia's RTX stack to blend the performance of rasterization and the visual fidelity of ray tracing for effects like highlights, shadows, reflections, and ambient occlusion. RTX is a back-end for Microsoft's DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR) API announced back in March. Epic Games has already integrated DXR features into version four of the Unreal Engine, for just one example of industry adoption.
The GeForce RTX series introduces a new Founders Edition cooler design that drops the centrifugal blower-style fan we know and love for a dual-fan open-air design that's closer to partner boards than designs of the past. Founders Edition cards have three DisplayPorts, a USB Type-C connector capable of hooking up to future VirtualLink devices, and an HDMI port. The RTX 2070 trades a DisplayPort for a DVI port.
|RTX 2080 Ti FE||4352||1350||1635||GDDR6||11 GB||352-bit||616 GB/s||250 W||$1199|
|RTX 2080 FE||2944||1515||1800||8 GB||256-bit||448 GB/s||215 W||$799|
|RTX 2070 FE||2304||1410||1710||185 W||$599|
The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition will carry a suggested price of $1,199, while the RTX 2080 Founders Edition will list for $799 and the RTX 2070 will go for $599. Partner cards will apparently start at $999 for the RTX 2080 Ti, $699 for the RTX 2080, and $499 for the RTX 2070. Nvidia will begin taking pre-orders for the RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 cards today, and they'll begin shipping on or around September 20. Details about partner cards are still rolling in, and we'll be writing them up as soon as we're able.Watch Nvidia's #BeForTheGame event live on Twitch at noon ET/9 AM PT
Today's biggest news will almost certainly be whatever Nvidia plans to show at its #BeForTheGame event ahead of Gamescom. The company will be streaming the event live on Twitch, and it's told us to expect "exclusive, hands-on demos running on the hottest upcoming games, presentations from some of the world's biggest game developers and some spectacular surprises."
Be sure to tune in if you can. We'll bring you all the news from the event as fast as our fingers can mash keys.Logitech's MX Vertical mouse wants to shake hands
Vertical mice keep the hand and forearm in a more neutral position than the average mouse today, and that neutral position is reputed to be easier on the hands, wrists, and arms. Logitech is hopping on board the vertical-mouse train with the MX Vertical. This productivity mouse tilts the gripping surface at a 57-degree angle for a "handshake" position that Logitech says was developed with criteria from "leading ergonomists" in mind. That design purports to reduce muscle strain by 10% relative to the average rodent.
The top edge of the mouse offers a "cursor speed switch" that the majority of TR readers and gamers will know as a sniper button. The inside of its grip offers back and forward buttons, while the main button cluster includes the usual left and right clickers plus a scroll wheel and middle mouse button. Logitech's Options software can be used to configure the behavior of those various buttons.
Like other MX mice, the Vertical can pair with up to three separate devices and switch among them with a hardware button, or users can also install Logitech's Synergy-like Flow software for seamless control of separate systems on the same desk. The MX Vertical can connect using a USB Type-C cable, Logitech's own Unifying receivers, or with Bluetooth.
Folks who want to turn the mousing experience on its ear can pick up an MX Vertical for $100 starting in September. Especially eager buyers can pre-order the mouse from Logitech's website starting August 20. Thanks to TR tipster SH SOTN for the heads-up.PNY reveals RTX 2080 Ti specs and potential $1000 price tag
We just tried to predict the performance of Nvidia's rumored RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti using a mix of public information and best guesses, and now we have the first official spec sheet for an RTX 2080 Ti thanks to a misfire from board partner PNY and a good catch from a TR staffer. The company posted a product page for its RTX 2080 Ti Overclocked XLR8 Edition early, revealing several critical specifications for the as-yet-unannounced and unreleased card.
Most critically, PNY lists a 1350-MHz base clock, a 1545-MHz boost clock, and a 285-W TDP for the card. While those clock speeds might sound low, they seem likely to continue the Pascal tradition of conservatism regarding delivered clock speeds from Nvidia products—GPU Boost 3.0 or its successor will likely push Turing cards' clocks much higher in real-world use under good cooling. The 285-W board power, on the other hand, likely reflects a 30-W allowance for the VirtualLink connector coming to Turing cards, meaning the RTX 2080 Ti itself lands close to the GTX 1080 Ti's 250-W figure.
PNY's product page also suggests that NVLink support is coming to Nvidia consumer products with the Turing generation. The page lists support for two-way NVLink, suggesting builders could be able to join their RTX 2080 Tis together over that coherent interconnect to create dual-card setups with a single 22-GB pool of VRAM.
Past those tantalizing details, the product page is fairly straightforward. The card will require two eight-pin PCIe connectors and could list for $1000. Presuming our guess at Titan-beating performance holds, it looks like that speed and a lack of a comparable product from AMD will result in Turing cards costing a pretty penny. We'll presumably find out more Monday.
This week at SIGGRAPH, Nvidia introduced its Turing microarchitecture, the next major advance for the green team since Pascal made its debut over two years ago. If you're not already familiar, Turing includes RT cores that accelerate certain operations related to ray-tracing and tensor cores for accelerating certain AI operations to render the results of those ray-tracing calculations usable for real-time rendering, among other benefits that we're likely unaware of.
Based on information that Nvidia revealed at SIGGRAPH, some back-of-the-napkin calculations, and a waterfall of leaks today, I wanted to see how the rumored GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will stack up against today's Pascal products—at least hypothetically.
Before we begin, I want to be clear that this article is mostly speculative and something I'm doing for fun. That speculation is based on my prior knowledge of Nvidia's organization of its graphics processors and the associated resource counts at each level of the chip hierarchy. It's entirely possible that my estimates and guesstimates are wildly off. Until Nvidia reveals an architectural white paper or briefs the press on Turing, we will not know just how correct any of these estimates are, if they are correct at all. I've marked figures I'm unsure of or produced using educated guesses with question marks.
My biggest leap of faith about Turing is that its basic streaming multiprocessor (or SM) design is not fundamentally that different from those in the Volta V100 GPU of June 2017. Nvidia will almost certainly drop the FP64 capabilities of Volta from Turing to save on die area, power, and cost, since those compute-focused ALUs have practically no relevance to real-time rendering. The company needs to make room for those RT cores, among other, better things it might be doing with the die area.
Past that, though, Nvidia has already said that Turing will maintain the independent parallel floating-point and integer execution paths of Volta. Furthermore, the number of tensor cores on the most powerful Turing card revealed so far, combined with some simple GPU math, suggests the Turing SM will maintain the same number of tensor cores as that of Volta. Those signs suggest we can fairly safely speculate about Turing using the organization of the Volta SM. That leap of faith is necessary here because Nvidia hasn't revealed the texturing power of Turing yet. Volta uses four texturing units per SM, so that's the fundamental assumption I'll work with for Turing, as well.
I also believe, without confirmation, that Nvidia will be releasing two Turing GPUs. One, which I'll call "bigger Turing," should power the Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 8000, as well as the purported RTX 2080 Ti. That 754-mm² chip has a 384-bit memory bus and as many as 4608 CUDA cores, and I'm guessing it's organized into 72 SMs and six Graphics Processing Clusters (or GPCs).
The "smaller Turing" apparently has a 256-bit memory bus, and it likely powers the Quadro RTX 5000 and the purported RTX 2080. That card likely has 48 SMs, organized into four GPCs. Judging by today's leaks, Nvidia seems to be using slightly cut-down chips in GeForce RTX products (likely as a result of yields). Fully-active Turing chips seem to be reserved for Quadro RTX cards.
|Radeon RX Vega 56||1471||64||224/112||3584||2048||410 GB/s||8 GB|
|GTX 1070||1683||64||108/108||1920||256||259 GB/s||8 GB|
|GTX 1080||1733||64||160/160||2560||256||320 GB/s||8 GB|
|Radeon RX Vega 64||1546||64||256/128||4096||2048||484 GB/s||8 GB|
|RTX 2080?||~1800?||64?||184/184?||2944?||256||448 GB/s||8 GB?|
|GTX 1080 Ti||1582||88||224/224?||3584||352||484 GB/s||11 GB|
|RTX 2080 Ti?||~1740?||88?||272/272?||4352?||352?||616 GB/s?||11 GB?|
|Titan Xp||1582||96||240/240||3840||384||547 GB/s||12 GB|
|Quadro RTX 8000||~1740?||96?||288/288?||4608||384||672 GB/s||24 GB|
|Titan V||1455||96||320/320||5120||3072||653 GB/s||12 GB|
This first chart primarily shows how the move from 8 GT/s GDDR5, 10 GT/s GDDR5X, and 11 GT/s GDDR5X to 14 GT/s GDDR6 will affect our contenders, as well as their basic (estimated) resource counts. We know that Nvidia claims a 16 TFLOPS FP32 math rate for the Quadro RTX 6000's GPU, so that means a roughly 1740-MHz boost clock range. The potential RTX 2080's clock speed, on the other hand, is a total guess from the gut.
|RX Vega 56||94||330/165||5.9||10.5|
|RX Vega 64||99||396/198||6.2||12.7|
|GTX 1080 Ti||139||354/354||9.5||11.3|
|RTX 2080 Ti?||153?||473/473?||10.4?||15.1?|
|Quadro RTX 6000||167?||501/501?||10.4?||16.0?|
This second set of theoretical measurements shows that unlike the transition from the GTX 980 Ti to the GTX 1080, the RTX 2080 is unlikely to eclipse the GTX 1080 Ti in measures of traditional rasterization performance (likely how most users will first experience the card's power, as software adapts to the hybrid-rendering future that Turing promises). The 2080 could certainly come close to the 1080 Ti in texturing power and shader-math rates, but its pixel fill rate and peak rasterization rates aren't much changed from its Pascal predecessor (at least, if my guesses are right).
My guesstimates about the RTX 2080 Ti, on the other hand, suggest a real leap in performance for a Ti-class "bigger" GeForce. The texturing power of the purported 2080 Ti is quite a bit higher than even that of the Titan V's by my estimate, and its triangle throughput, peak pixel fill rate, and peak FLOPS are basically chart-topping for consumer Nvidia graphics processors. That should lead to some truly impressive performance figures, even before we consider the possibilities opened up by the card's ray-tracing acceleration hardware.
Nvidia will be holding a Gamescom event this Monday, August 20, where we expect to learn all about these purported Turing GeForces. We won't be on the ground in Cologne, Germany for the event, but we will be monitoring the live stream and will bring you all the details we can as we learn them. Stay tuned.ARM reveals client CPU ambitions with roadmap through 2020
ARM produces the basic CPU designs that power practically every smartphone and non-x86 tablet in the world. Now that the CPU IP licensing firm has tasted higher-power-envelope blood thanks to always-connected PCs from partnerships between Qualcomm, Microsoft, Asus, and HP, it wants to expand its ambitions in mobile computing to the 15-W performance class occupied by Intel and AMD U-series processors.
ARM's first step on the road to competing in these devices is the Cortex-A76 core, announced earlier this year. The Cortex-A76 promises a 35% generation-on-generation performance improvement relative to the Cortex-A75 before it, as well as a 40% power-efficiency improvement relative to that design. ARM isn't stopping with the A76, however. The company has released a CPU technology roadmap through 2020 that outlines its ambitions for client PCs.
The next high-performance ARM core for client PCs, codenamed "Deimos," will be made available to ARM's licensees in 2018. While the company didn't share much detail about this core, it's designed for foundries' 7-nm-class process technologies, it will be compatible with ARM's DynamIQ clustering technology and interconnect fabric, and it promises a 15% increase in "compute performance" over today's Cortex-A76.
The follow-on to Deimos is called Hercules, and ARM says its licensees will have access to that core IP in 2020. This core will be designed for fabrication on both foundry 7-nm and 5-nm process nodes. ARM claims the Hercules design will improve compute performance by some amount in addition to projected power reductions and area reductions of 10% over what's possible from the move to 5-nm-class processes alone.
To emphasize its readiness to jump into the client-computing market, ARM also released a tantalizing chart that suggests its upcoming Cortex-A76 core running at 3 GHz might deliver per-core SPECint 2006 performance similar to Intel's Core i5-7300U while consuming much less power. We weren't privy to the briefing where these slides were presented, but Anandtech's Andrei Frumusanu dug into some of the finer points of the presentation, and his information suggests it's worth taking some of these numbers with a grain of salt or two.
Frumusanu says ARM's less-than-5-W figure represents actual single-core power consumption under that single-threaded SPECint 2006 Speed workload, while it seems ARM simply took the bottom-line TDP from Intel's specifications for the Core i5-7300U rather than providing actual power-consumption figures—even internal ones—for the Intel system running the same workload. Intel defines TDP as the worst-case power consumption of the chip under a worst-case workload, not a single-threaded power-consumption figure as ARM seems to be comparing here. That alone should probably give us pause.
It's also worth noting that despite ARM's chest-thumping about double-digit performance gains from generation to generation, actual performance of the first PC-class products from its partners suggests there's plenty of room for improvement yet. Always-connected PCs from HP and Asus with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoCs inside have been panned by reviewers who have tried them in the real world thanks to leisurely performance. The Snapdragon 835 uses older ARM A73-based Kryo 280 custom CPU cores in its high-performance arsenal, to be fair, and it's entirely possible that new cores powered by designs based on the Cortex-A76 could offer better performance in those form factors.
Even so, the point remains that Intel remains a large and slow-moving target for CPU IP developers looking to butt in on its dominance in markets from servers to notebooks. That's thanks to the fact that the blue team is still facing immense pressure to get its 10-nm process up to speed and to release next-generation architectures of its own on that process. Intel might be able to stave off some of this competition with continued improvement of the 14-nm process technology that underpins every one of its leading-edge products, but that doesn't change the fact that the Skylake core being implemented on refinements of 14-nm is a 2015-vintage product.
If Intel's 14-nm Whiskey Lake product family delivers the major boost in peak clock speeds that early leaks suggest, even ARM's projected 3.3-GHz peak speeds for A76 cores might not be enough to catch a Core i5 in the bursty, single-threaded workloads that characterize the vast majority of mobile PC usage. Still, ARM's roadmap, ambitious performance targets, and broad partner ecosystem suggest the clock is ticking if Intel wants to maintain performance leadership in the always-connected 5G PC platform of the future.Nvidia marks the death of crypto demand in Q2 of its fiscal 2019
Nvidia reported its results for the second quarter of its fiscal 2019 today. The company pulled in $3.12 billion in revenue, up 40% year-on-year, and operating income of $1.16 billion, up 68% year-on-year. Gross margin was 63.3%, up 4.9 percentage points on the year. The company reported record revenue across all of its divisions.
The GPU business made up the vast majority of Nvidia's revenue at $2.66 billion. The company said strong performance in its gaming, professional visualization, and data-center products made up for a "substantial decline" in cryptocurrency sales. Gaming revenue was up 52% from this time last year at $1.8 billion thanks to strong sales of Pascal cards for desktops and Max-Q notebooks. Professional visualization products brought in $281 million, 20% better than a year ago, and data center revenue reached $760 million, up 83% from a year ago. Those data center results came thanks to sales of Volta products like the Tesla V100 and the DGX systems containing them, according to the company.
The company's OEM and IP bucket leaked 54% of the revenue it posted this time last year, down to $116 million, thanks to declines in demand from cryptocurrency miners for the green team's GPUs. The sequential drop of 70% in this line item underscores just how much crypto demand has faltered of late. Nvidia notes that it had predicted crypto-specific demand would be $100 million for this quarter, while actual revenues were $18 million. Furthermore, the company expects no meaningful contributions from cryptocurrency products to revenue for the remainder of its fiscal 2019. If there's a surer sign that enthusiasm for new mining power is dead, I'm not sure we'll find it.
The company's Tegra business, on the other hand, brought in $467 million, up 40% from a year ago. Tegra chips find their way into Nvidia's automotive products, embedded platforms, and most importantly, the Nintendo Switch. Tegra products for cars brought in $161 million, up 13% from a year ago, including infotainment systems, Drive PX boards, and software-development partnerships with automakers.
For its next quarter, Nvidia expects $3.25 billion in revenue, plus or minus two percent. That figure includes no income from crypto demand. Going by Nvidia's third-quarter fiscal 2017 results, that figure would represent a 23.3% year-on-year increase, suggesting the company's meteoric rise of late might be tapering off a bit. GAAP gross margin is projected at 62.6%, which would reflect a 3.1-percentage-point increase. With the release of new GeForce products imminent, we'll have to see just how much pent-up demand for next-generation gaming products the company is able to unleash as cryptocurrency demand finally seems to be dying off.MSI WS65 mobile workstation gets dressed up for the office
MSI's workstation notebooks are getting dressed up with a toned-down new design, and the WS65 launching at SIGGRAPH this week is the first of the breed. This system is a thin 15.6" design that still squeezes plenty of power inside. MSI will let professionals get WS65s with CPUs as powerful as Intel's Core i9-8950HK and graphics processors ranging up to Nvidia's Quadro P4200.
While specs are still a little thin at the moment, we do know that the WS65 has a 1920x1080 display with 72% coverage of the NTSC gamut (or about 100% of sRGB). It sounds as though the system has two M.2 slots, one for SATA and NVMe devices and the other for NVMe devices only. The WS65 has three "USB 3.1" Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, one HDMI 2.0 output, one mini-DisplayPort 1.4 connector, and headphone and microphone inputs. We'll learn more about the WS65 when it launches in September.Lian Li Lancool One chassis blends the best of past and present
Lian Li made its name with massive, featureless aluminum monoliths, but nobody can ignore the RGB LED craze. Enter the Lancool One. This case's front panel takes Lian Li's signature brushed-aluminum stylings and blends them with an RGB LED-accent that cleverly doubles as an ambient light source for the interior of the chassis.
That RGB LED accent shines through a cut-out on the semi-open front panel. Vents around the edges of the panel allow the included 120-mm front fan to breathe. Another 120-mm fan comes installed on the Lancool One's rear fan mount. The case has ample room for extra fans, as well. The front panel can accept two more 120-mm spinners or 140-mm air movers. The top panel can take another three 120-mm fans or two 140-mm units. Two more 120-mm fan mounts on the Lancool One's convertible PSU shroud can move air between the chambers, too.
As for cooling hardware, the Lancool One can swallow radiators as large as 280 mm or 360 mm on its front panel, another 360-mm radiator on its top panel (but no 280-mm units), and another 120-mm radiator at its rear. Tower-style air coolers as tall as 6.9" (175 mm) and graphics cards as long as 16.5" (420 mm) will find a home in the Lancool One, as well. As a mid-tower case, the Lancool One offers seven primary expansion slots and two more vertical slots for builders who want to tip their graphics cards on their sides.
For storage, the Lancool One has two dedicated 2.5" trays on the back of its motherboard, another two 2.5" mounts on top of the PSU shroud, and two 3.5" cages underneath its PSU shroud. The top, front, and bottom air intakes of the Lancool One all come with magnetic dust filters to keep builds clean, something builders will appreciate thanks to the case's tempered-glass left side panel.
Lian-Li makes the Lancool One available in two versions. The standard model has traditional RGB LED lighting and no USB Type-C connector on its top panel, while the Lancool One Digital offers a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector and fully-addressable RGB LED accents. The standard Lancool One rings in at a reasonable $89.99 on Newegg, while the Lancool One Digital commands an extra $10. Both cases are available now on Newegg.Asus ROG Strix Scar II squeezes a 17.3" screen into a 15" chassis
13", 14", and 15.6" notebooks rule the mobile roost these days, but 17" notebooks endure for folks who care about performance above all. Asus is trying to make life easier for folks who want to lug around such large machines with its ROG Strix Scar II. This machine is built around a 17.3" display, but Asus has slimmed down three of the four screen bezels to the point that it claims the Scar II is no larger than a notebook with a 15.7" chassis.
Like the Zephyrus S announced today, the Scar II's top-end panel is a 144-Hz, 1920x1080 affair with a claimed 3-ms response time—exceptional for a notebook screen. The Scar II also boasts 100% coverage of the sRGB color space. A 60-Hz 1920x1080 model will also be available. Buyers can choose a Core i7-8750H CPU with six cores and 12 threads or a Core i3-8300H with four cores and eight threads. No matter what CPU you choose, the Scar II delivers pixels to its panel with a GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB graphics chip. The machine supports DDR4-2666 RAM in pools as large as 32 GB.
The Scar II's inch-thick body has room for NVMe SSDs ranging from 128 GB–512 GB and 1-TB hard drives in either plain-old-5400-RPM, 7200-RPM, or 5400-RPM SSHD flavors. Owners can hook up peripherals using USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C and Type-A ports, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a single Mini DisplayPort 1.2 connector, an HDMI 2.0 out, and an SD card reader. The Scar II has a Gigabit Ethernet jack and 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi with a 2x2 MIMO antenna.
As with the Zephyrus S, the Scar II has four-zone RGB LED lighting on its keyboard, a dual-zone RGB LED light bar on its front edge, and another blinkenlight zone behind the ROG logo on its lid. Asus will announce prices when the machine launches in September.Cooler Master goes long with its ML360R RGB liquid cooler
Cooler Master has put its stamp on several liquid coolers over the years, but it's never made one with a 360-mm radiator until now. The MasterLiquid ML360R RGB stretches out with an extra-long radiator that gets its airflow from three PWM fans with speed ranges from 650 RPM–2000 RPM. An array of 12 RGB LEDs encircles the top of the pump head, and each of the ML360R RGB's fans has a further eight addressable lights in their fan hubs.
Cooler Master gives builders with lights in their eyes plenty of options for controlling the ML360R's blinkenlights. Those interested in software tweaking can work their magic through Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, or ASRock Polychrome RGB Sync. Folks whose motherboards don't support addressable RGB LEDs can rely on Cooler Master's included RGB LED lighting controller instead. Cooler Master's MasterPlus+ software is still in beta, but it'll also provide control options for the ML360R if you want to be a guinea pig.
To keep the ML360R's coolant where it belongs, Cooler Master uses sleeved FEP tubing that looks good on top of being functional. The ML360R RGB is compatible with all recent Intel mainstream and high-end desktop sockets, as well as AMD's mainstream mounting systems through Socket AM4. Builders who want to go long can find the ML360R RGB on Newegg today for $159.99.Asus cuts down the ROG Zephyrus S and makes it stronger than ever
Asus' ROG Zephyrus notebook turned heads last year by putting gamer-grade hardware in an ultrabook-like chassis. The concept apparently wowed enough people that Asus' designers went back and did it again. The ROG Zephyrus S keeps the keyboard-forward design and fold-out cooling system of the original Zephyrus, but it slims down the chassis even more. The Zephyrus S is just 0.62" (15.75 mm) thick at its thickest point, making it 12% thinner than even the original. It also slims down its display bezels for a clean appearance.
Despite the paring-down, the Zephyrus S doesn't sacrifice on power. The notebook relies on the one-two punch of a Core i7-8750H CPU and a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics chip to drive a 15.6", 144-Hz 1920x1080 display with an exceptional claimed 3-ms response time. Asus says the panel covers 100% of the sRGB gamut, so gamers who need color-critical chops in their day jobs might find the Zephyrus S a capable companion. Asus will aslso offer a version with a full-fat mobile GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB, as well. Buyers can also configure NVMe storage devices ranging from 256 GB–1 TB in size, and the machine can swallow up to 24 GB of DDR4-2666 memory.
The Zephyrus S offers USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports in Type-A and Type-C flavors, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, and two USB 2.0 ports. Gamers can connect the Zephyrus S to external displays using an HDMI 2.0 port. As a gaming product, it's no surprise that the Zephyrus S offers four-zone RGB LED lighting on its keyboard. Another RGB LED zone shines through the "Active Aerodynamic System" vent at the back of the notebook. Asus didn't announce pricing today, but the notebook will be available next month.Intel teases discrete graphics card on new Twitter account
Intel's plans to release a discrete graphics product in 2020 are well-known, but just what that product will look like is not at all known. We may have a very slightly better idea today thanks to the newly-inaugurated Intel Graphics Twitter account. The company tweeted a teaser video reminding PC users that its graphics products power a huge swath of screens on the planet, and it closes with the reminder that "in 2020, we will set our graphics free."
The teaser video shows us what appears to be a single-slot card of some kind, though the largely featureless and likely-rendered image doesn't offer much more to go on than that. Still, Intel says of its 2020 plan: "that's just the beginning." For now, the next year and four months (or more) can't pass quickly enough.Samsung Exynos 5100 5G modem is the one chip to rule them all
Samsung is getting ready for 5G handsets with an all-in-one modem that can handle cellular standards of the past and future alike. The Exynos Modem 5100 claims full compliance with the 3GPP 5G NR Release 15 standards, and Samsung claims it's the first 5G modem in the industry to achieve that compliance. To prove its mettle, Samsung used the Exynos Modem 5100 to successfully place a 5G NR data call with its own base station and handset prototype.
The Exynos Modem 5100 has support for both the sub-6-GHz and mmWave spectrums that form the two pillars of 5G connectivity, and it can also transmit on 2G GSM and CDMA networks, 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, HSPA, and 4G LTE networks. That broad compatibility is important since 5G-NR will have a non-standalone deployment phase requiring the use of existing cellular infrastructure ahead of the 5G NR standalone deployment phase for true next-generation cellular networks.
Samsung claims the Exynos Modem 5100 is good for maximum downlink speeds of 2 Gbps on the sub-6-GHz bands of 5G and up to 6 Gbps in mmWave environments. For 4G LTE networks, the modem can suck down data at rates of up to 1.6 Gbps. Along with the modem itself, Samsung has a complementary family of radio-frequency IC, envelope tracking, and power management parts for use in 5G devices. Samsung says the Exynos Modem 5100 will be available to interested customers by the end of this year.
|Tuesday deals: a Radeon RX 580 8 GB for $210 and more||2|
|MSI cooks up RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards in multiple flavors||2|
|Zotac hosts a quartet of RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Tis||3|
|Gigabyte readies four GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards||1|
|EVGA has a sweet sixteen RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti cards||18|
|Asus’ flock of GeForce RTX cards takes flight||10|
|Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070||220|
|Razer's Ornata Chroma gaming keyboard reviewed||5|
|Watch Nvidia's #BeForTheGame event live on Twitch at noon ET/9 AM PT||66|
|1200 for a video card. I really don't care how insane the price/performance ratio is. These would be used for video games. Video games. Sorry man, no....||+37|