Components

The upheaval of the high-end desktop processor segment continues today with the official release of Intel’s latest Coffee Lake-based 8th Generation Core processors. 2017 easily been one of the most exciting years in a decade for desktop processors, thanks in no small part to AMD’s entire line-up of Ryzen products, including the monstrous Threadripper, which propelled the company back into contention at virtually every price point.Intel was at the ready with a host of ultra-high-end processors – namely the Core X series – that allow the company to lay claim to the fastest desktop processor on the... Read more...
Over the last few months, Intel slowly divulged a number of details regarding the two processors we’ll be covering today, its flagship 18-core, behemoth Core i9-7980XE and its slightly smaller sibling, the 16-core Core i9-7960X. The fact that these two processors were in the works was officially disclosed all the way back in May, no doubt in an attempt to quell the impending AMD Threadripper firestorm, but specifics like frequencies, cache, and TDP were initially held back.Those specifications were eventually revealed, and some benchmarks leaked as well, but today we’ve got the full, official scoop.... Read more...
Today we are going to take a look at three popular Intel Z270-based motherboards targeted at power users and gamers, produced by enthusiast favorites Gigabyte, ASUS and MSI. The three boards we've rounded-up here cover a wide range of price points. The Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming K5 and ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming boards represent more mainstream segments, while the MSI Z270 XPOWER Gaming Titanium targets the ultra high-end. Although AMD's powerful Threadripper processors and Intel's upcoming 18-Core Skylake-X behemoth have gotten the lion's share of attention lately, more mainstream processors... Read more...
The new iStorage diskAshur2 is a specialized, external hard drive geared toward security conscious consumers. The diskAshur2 is a little pricey, and although it's no slouch in the speed department (we'll get into that in a bit), it's certainly not going to compete with that shiny new internal SSD you've got your eye on in terms of transfer speeds either. But here's the thing: It's plenty fast enough for just about anything you'd want to do, and just as importantly, it's both rugged and secure. So, despite a somewhat lofty asking price, the diskAshur2 is actually a pretty good deal. If you need... Read more...
Intel announced its Xeon Scalable processor family based Skylake-SP a few weeks back, but today marks the official launch of the platform. These new processors feature a new microarchitecture versus previous-generation Xeons and Intel has revamped the naming convention and arrangement of the product stack as well. Whereas previous-generation Xeon processors carried version, class, and model number designations – for example, Xeon E5-2697 v4 – the Xeon Scalable processor family is now designated by Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories, with a single model number.The new naming convention... Read more...
Much of the current excitement in the consumer storage space involves blazing-fast NVMe solid state drives, but there are still hundreds of millions (if not billions) of systems packing SATA hard drives that would benefit greatly from an SSD upgrade. As such, many manufacturers continue to introduce SATA-based offerings like the recently-launched Intel SSD 545s series, which feature newer technologies in an effort to drive costs down and capacities up. The Intel SSD 545s series is the first in the company’s SATA-based solid state storage line-up to feature 64-layer TLC 3D NAND. Though this first... Read more...
Over the next few months, Intel will be releasing an array of new high-end desktop processors in the recently-announced Core X Series, based on the Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X micro-architectures. The first chips in the series to arrive in the lab are the 10-core Core i9-7900X and quad-core Core i7-7740X. We’ve got an array of benchmarks and overclocking data on tap with the processors, but due to some unexpected shipping issues, we weren't able to complete all of the test we would have liked. Rest assured, we’ll update this piece as soon as we can with a full set of numbers -- it will just take... Read more...
Intel announced its family of Xeon Scalable Processors in early May, featuring the Skylake-SP microarchitecture. Those processors haven’t officially launched just yet, but today the chip giant is revealing one of the key technologies being leveraged in the Xeon Scalable Processor family. A new mesh interconnect architecture has been designed to increase bandwidth between on-chip elements, while simultaneously decreasing latency, and improving power efficiency and scalability.In a blog post on the company’s website, Akhilesh Kimar, Skylake-SP CPU Architect explains, “The task of adding more cores... Read more...
We’ve heard rumors regarding Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors for the past few months, but today it's finally time for the official roll-out of these new flagship Intel CPUs. We were no doubt impressed by the initial specs that leaked (especially over the past week), but the final product may actually be a bit more impressive than we initially thought.Intel bills these new Core i5 X-Series, Core i7 X-Series, Core i9 X-Series, and Core i9 Extreme Edition processors as its “Most Powerful, Most Scalable” desktop processors to date. We’ve known for a few weeks now that Intel would... Read more...
Intel Optane Memory is designed to accelerate the storage subsystem on compatible machines, to improve transfer speeds and reduce latency. It is among the first products to leverage 3D XPoint memory technology that was co-developed by Intel and Micron. 3D XPoint offers many of the same properties as NAND flash memory, but with much higher endurance and certain performance characteristics that are similar to DRAM. We revealed many details regarding Intel Optane Memory a couple of weeks ago. To quickly reiterate, Intel Optane Memory products and their associated software are designed to... Read more...
Early last week, Intel revealed its Optane SSD DC P4800X featuring 3D Xpoint memory technology. The Optane SSD DC P4800X is an enterprise-class product, targeted at data centers and mission-critical applications where reliable, ultra-low-latency access to large amounts of data is paramount. Today, Intel is introducing another new product featuring 3D Xpoint memory, but this is one quite literally at the other end of the spectrum. The Intel Optane Memory devices we’ll be discussing here looks like other current generation 80mm M.2 “gumstick” type solid state drives. However, Intel Optane Memory... Read more...
When Intel and Micron jointly announced 3D Xpoint memory technology a couple of years back, the two companies made some bold claims. 3D Xpoint is being positioned as a revolutionary non-volatile memory tier that can offer orders of magnitude better performance and endurance than traditional NAND flash memory, with much higher density than DRAM. Our original coverage of the 3D Xpoint announcement is available here if you’d like a quick refresher.Today we have some news regarding the first product that Intel will ship leveraging 3D Xpoint memory technology, the brand new Intel Optane SSD DC... Read more...
A few months back, Intel updated its enterprise-class solid state storage line-up with a new series of NVMe-based drives – the DC P3520 series -- featuring IMFT 3D MLC NAND flash memory. Like some of its other high-end offerings, the drives featured Intel’s native NVMe PCI Express controller, but the use of more affordable 3D MLC NAND allowed Intel to reduce costs, while keeping endurance relatively high.Since some of the first consumer-class solid state drives hit the scene, Intel has been known to push the envelope in the space, and ultimately drive prices down. Intel did it somewhat recently... Read more...
We have covered Intel’s Kaby Lake microarchitecture on a few occasions already. We outlined the architectural details in this piece, and have evaluated a handful of mobile devices powered by Kaby Lake at this point, including the gorgeous Asus ZenBook 3 and updated Dell XPS 13. Today, however, Kaby Lake makes its official debut on the desktop, with a brand-new flagship quad-core processor – the Core i7-7700K – and newly refreshed 200 series motherboard chipsets.The Core i7-7700K has hardly been a secret. The processors actually went on sale at a couple of major on-line retailers recently and benchmark... Read more...
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