Processor Technology Reviews, Analysis And News

Processors come in many types for different applications. However, when it comes to computing, whether mobile, on the desktop or in the Internet of Things, these chips are widely known as the "brains" of the operation. Here you'll find Hot Hardware reviews and news on products from the biggest names in PC and mobile processors from Intel and AMD, to Qualcomm, ARM and more.

Intel held its 2018 “Architecture Day” yesterday, where top execs plotted out the company’s direction for architecture and product roadmaps in the near-future and further out on the horizon. The event was held at a home once owned by Robert Noyce. Noyce, known as the "Mayor of Silicon Valley" back in the day, co-founded Intel in 1968 with Gordon Moore. This mansion setting was a perfect backdrop for Intel to underscore its new direction for the analysts and journalists in attendance. Intel has been under intense pressure due to delays of volume ramp of its 10nm process fabricated... Read more...
Intel held an Architecture Day in Los Altos yesterday, where it disclosed a number of details regarding next-generation CPU and GPU architectures and manufacturing process technologies. In addition to the technical disclosures divulged to an exclusive group of attendees, Intel also talked about a shift in the company’s design and engineering model based on six strategic pillars -- Process, Architecture, Memory, Interconnect, Security, and Software – which it hopes will allow it to better address the needs of the current computing landscape moving forward. In addition to the architecture... Read more...
When Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core processors at an event in NYC a few weeks back, it used the opportunity to also unveil a beastly, unlocked 28-core Xeon processor that’ll be arriving at a later date, and a refreshed line-up of 9th Gen-branded Core-X series processors as well. Unlike the 9th Gen Core i products, however, which leverage an updated Coffee Lake microarchitecture, the “new” Core X series remains based on Skylake-X – just like the 7th Gen Core X series processors we evaluated here. Some folks are likely to shout “re-brand” from... Read more...
There's no question that Intel has held a stranglehold on the enterprise CPU market with its family of Xeon processors. However, that all began to change last year with the introduction of AMD's first Zen-based EPYC processors which offered impressive performance at eyebrow-raising price points for potential customers. While AMD has gained some server market share thanks to EPYC, it is really looking to turn the tide with its second-generation EPYC products based on 7nm Zen 2 architecture. These new processors are part of the "Rome" family and are currently sampling to customers. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa... Read more...
When AMD launched its initial salvo of 2nd Generation Ryzen Threadripper processors back in August, it consisted of the beastly 32-core / 64-thread Threadripper 2990WX and powerful, but more svelte, 16-core / 32-thread Threadripper 2950X. Those processors represent the pinnacle of their respective line-ups; the 2990WX is AMD’s flagship workstation processor and the 2950X is the top HEDT CPU. Although they were all announced at the same time, the processors we’ll be showing you here today, the 2nd Gen Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX and Threadripper 2920X, are just now being made available.... Read more...
After what seemed like months of leaks and speculation, Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core desktop CPU line-up a couple of weeks back, at a lavish event in New York City. Though the upcoming Core X series processors, the beastly 28-core Xeon W-3175X, and the 9th Gen Core i family don’t feature new architectures, all of the parts bring something fresh to the table, whether it be soldered thermal interface material, unlocked multipliers in the case of the Xeon, or updated silicon designs that incorporate more core resources, among other things. One of the most anticipated and... Read more...
This may sound a bit over the top to some of you, but in our opinion AMD triggered a true revolution in the high-end enthusiast desktop segment last year, when it first introduced Ryzen to the world. Excluding extremely expensive workstation or enterprise-class processors, in early 2017 the most powerful desktop CPU money could buy was a 10-core Intel Core i7 that retailed for more than $1700, while modern, mainstream desktops at the time typically featured 4 cores. Sure, AMD had six and eight core FX-series processors on the market as well, but their legacy architecture wasn’t competitive... Read more...
Intel recently launched a Core i7-8086K Limited Edition processor, based on the company’s Coffee Lake architecture, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the venerable 8086. Although it wasn’t the first microprocessor employed in personal computers, the Intel 8086 laid the foundation for the x86 architecture, which has been at the core of virtually all “IBM compatible” or “Win-Tel” PCs released since. Before we talk about where Intel is going with Core i7-8086K, however, we need to discuss where it has been. Intel put together this infographic highlighting... Read more...
When AMD launched its 2nd Generation Ryzen processors, we initially examined to the two top-end “X” variants -- the current flagship 8-core Ryzen 7 2700X and its 6-core cousin, the Ryzen 5 2600X. Of course, we love looking at the latest and greatest high-end hardware around here, but as is often the case, scaled-down versions of a particular product commonly offer significant value, without sacrificing much in terms of performance or features. With that in mind, we were eager to see what the lower-priced Ryzen 7 2700 and Ryzen 5 2600 could do. These processor are virtually identical... Read more...
After the splash that AMD made with Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper in 2017, it should come as no surprise that AMD would follow-up with second generation variants. We've already seen the mainstream side of things with the Ryzen 2000 Series processors, and now at an event at Computex 2018, AMD has just announced its second-generation Ryzen Threadripper family. Like the Ryzen 2000 series, second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors are based on 12nm Zen+ architecture. That means that the new High-End Desktop (HEDT) processors offer lower latencies, higher clock speeds, and Precision... Read more...
Last week, Arm showed off the inner workings of its new Machine Learning Processor design, but that is not all that company had waiting in the wings. Arm is also detailing more cutting-edge technology in the form of its Cortex-A76 CPU, Mali-G76 GPU, and Mali-V76 VPU designs. All three chips are slated to be heavy-hitters in their respective categories, and thanks to some on-campus, in depth briefings earlier this month, we have all of the details to share... Cortex A-76 The Cortex-A76 represents Arm’s most radical overhaul over previous designs. The A76’s brand-new architecture... Read more...
Qualcomm is looking to make Extended Reality (XR) the next big thing in mobile computing. XR is the term that Qualcomm has coined to describe the full gamut of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) experiences. With XR, Qualcomm is looking to provide a single platform that developers will be able to leverage for an array of different devices. This is how Qualcomm describes XR: At some point in the future, we envision the convergence of the smartphone, mobile VR headset, and AR glasses into a single XR wearable. In this scenario, a single pair of XR glasses will primarily... Read more...
After taking a measured, wait-and-see approach to machine learning, Arm is ready to jump into the fold full throttle. Today, the company is following up on its Project Trillium announcement from back in February with new details surrounding its machine learning processor, also known as the neural-network processing unit or NPU. To quickly recap, Project Trillium encompasses Arm’s push to leverage machine learning and neural network operations across their line-up of processors – whether that processing takes place on the CPU, GPU, or its new NPU. Arm’s goal is to make machine... Read more...
Today marks the official launch of AMD’s latest additions to the Ryzen Pro family, which include new processors with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. AMD has released Ryzen Pro APUs for both desktop and mobile form-factors, and all include features specifically geared towards business customers.  With AMD's new Ryzen Pro offerings, you’ll find security-centric features like AMD GuardMI Technology with on-chip DRAM memory encryption, secure boot, fTPM/TPM 2.0, and what the company calls “enterprise-grade” reliability. On that latter point, AMD is guaranteeing a... Read more...
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