Finally, AMD and Intel have some competition. Well, probably not, but this is still worth a look: chipmaker Zhaoxin has rolled out its first consumer-directed CPU according to Anandtech. Zhaoxin is a joint venture between Via Technologies and the Chinese government and has been selling systems to the Chinese government for some time. The Zhaoxin KX-6780A marks the company’s first move into the consumer market.
The Zhaoxin KaiXian KX-6780A is only available in China at the moment and is only available as an embedded processor soldered to its mini-ITX motherboard. The KX-6780A is an 8-core, 64-bit, x86 CPU. It has 8 MB of L2 cache, a dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory controller, and features modern I/O interfaces like PCIe, as well as DirectX 11.1-capable graphics.
Zhaoxin says the chip compares to a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, but that’s also coming straight from the company; take it with a grain of salt. Even if it’s true, it’s going to be true only conditionally. Intel’s 7th-gen Core i5 chips were quad-core, non-Hyper Threaded CPUs, and any comparison between chips is not going to be exactly 1:1 until the chip is in the hand of independent testers.
The CPU is made using TSMC’s 16-nm process and supports modern CPU instructions sets. It can run both Windows and Linux.
It has ports, too
Photo Credit: Anandtech
The board itself has a pretty standard-looking, though unimpressive feature set. You can pump integrated graphics out through HDMI or VGA ports and supports 4K video playback. On the board itself, you’ll find a 24-pin power supply connector and a PCIe slot that provides compatibility with discrete graphics cards. There’s also room for two SO-DIMMs and two M.2 slots. On the back of the board are HDMI and VGA outputs, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and two RJ-45 Ethernet ports. The board accepts power through a DC power port.
The board and its embedded KX-6780A chip are on sale on Taobao for the equivalent of about $620, and a mini-PC is allegedly coming along in March.