September News Round Up: Zen, Kaby Lake, GTX 1050 and More
How does a freelance writer keep up with everything happening in the industry when he has a full time job, a family, reviews to keep up with and a puppy in training?
It’s worth pointing out that a lot has happened in the month of September this year. AMD has been making announcements about Zen, INTEL has had some details about Kaby Lake and NVIDIA is talking about the GTX 1050. Rather than try to keep up with every piece of news as it releases, we’re going to try something new by having a once a month update to catch you up on the things that are happening in the industry. Welcome to the PureOC Monthly News! On the last Friday of each month, we’ll pull together all the news that feels relevant and give a one stop location to get your info from. So without further ado, let’s get into what’s happened this month.
CPUs, Motherboards and Chipsets
AMD Zen, Grey Hawk, X370 Chipset and A12-9800
We’ll start with AMD this time around since much of the anticipation of what will happen in the CPU sector relies on them. We got some more detailed shots of the new Zen chip and the 1331 pin design is confirmed. As far as new info is concerned though, we didn’t get much this month for that. The A12-9800 on the other hand had some very interesting leaks. Some performance scores showed up and even though the new AM4 chip is still using Steamroller cores, it has some reasonable improvements. What was really interesting was an overclocking result. Some one took the chip to 4.8 GHz using only the Wraith cooler. That sound pretty impressive, but we’ll have to take that with a grain of salt since we’ve seen impressive leaks not live up to expectations on actual release.
The other big news that happened was getting more details on the chipset that will support the new AM4 chips from AMD. If you remember, they’re going to use one socket for all the chips, leaving it up to the buyer to choose between processors and board features. The X370 chipset will cover the enthusiast realm of mainboards with the upcoming Zen architecture. While there’s plenty of features to look at, the one I want to point out is the full 2×16 CF/SLI support it offers. Sure, there isn’t a huge performance gain yet when using the same dual GPU configuration at 2×8, but it will be a compelling option in AMD’s favor if Zen competes well with Skylake.
Finally, AMD has already teased about the jump to 7nm with a tentative 2019 release of Gray Hawk APUs. Of course we won’t get many details on this yet, but it’s interesting to note that it looks like AMD will skip the 10nm node. This will help them keep pace with INTEL while offering some pretty impressive improvements in power efficiency. Of course with any announcement like this, you can almost expect to see delays since there are so many variables that can affect this sort of time table.
INTEL Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake
Did you know INTEL released a new CPU lineup? Yeah, it surprised me too. That’s because it’s only out for mobile at the time being, meaning you need to buy a new laptop to see it. The desktop version of Kaby Lake should be releasing the end of this year or the beginning of next. Here’s where it get’s a bit confusing. Kaby Lake is an improvement on Skylake, while Coffee Lake should be a new architecture built on the 14nm process, with Cannon Lake being a slight improvement of Coffee Lake while jumping to the 10nm node.
All said, it sounds like much of this is the same ole 10-15% performance increases we’ve been having for some time. After a while, it gets hard to get excited about that but there is one rumor that had me a bit more excited for Kaby Lake. While I can’t find the evidence of this anywhere anymore, I could swear I read that the chips were going to go back to having a soldered lid, over the cheaper thermal paste option INTEL has implemented the past few generations. If it’s true, that’s great news for overclockers, but take this with a shaker of salt until proof shows up.