When two tribes go to war... Intel, AMD tease new chips at Computex: Your spin-free summary

2nd-gen Epyc, 3rd-gen Ryzen 7 and 9 processors, Navi GPUs, Intel 10nm CPUs, etc

AMD CEO Lisa Su with a Navi GPU
Boss ... AMD CEO Lisa Su on stage at Computex with a Navi GPU in hand

AMD and Intel both teased details of their upcoming processors on Sunday at Computex, the computer industry's annual jamboree in Taiwan.

Here's a quick summary of what went down between the CPU-GPU rivals.

AMD

AMD's second-generation Zen-based 7nm Epyc data center processor, codenamed Rome, is, we're told, launching Q3 2019. There are, it is claimed, twice as many platforms in the works using Rome as those using the first-generation 14nm Naples, demonstrating that the server industry was mostly waiting for Epyc's second-generation to arrive before throwing its weight behind it.

The chip designer also touted RDNA, its all-new architecture for its forthcoming PCIe 4.0 7nm Radeon GPUs. RDNA will, according to AMD CEO Lisa Su, power the forthcoming Radeon Navi GPU family. This technology will appear alongside an AMD Zen 2.0 CPU in the next Sony PlayStation, and in upcoming Radeon RX 5000 graphics cards: we're told the RDNA-Navi-based RX 5700 series will go on sale from July. More details are promised on June 10 at the E3 gaming expo. GCN will live on in some way, in case you're wondering.

The 5000 was picked because it's AMD's 50th anniversary, by the way.

Onto the Zen 2.0 third-generation 7nm Ryzen 7 processors. The first will be the $329 Ryzen 3700X, an eight-core, 16-thread 3.6GHz base, 4.4GHz max, component, with 36MB total cache and 65W TDP. Or there's the beefier $399 3800X, again eight cores, 16 threads, but clocked at 3.9GHz base, 4.5GHz max, again 36MB total cache, and a higher TDP of 105W. The 3800X was shown at Computex with up to 40 lanes of PCIe 4.0.

Su also told us to expect more than eight cores: the Ryzen 9 family will kick off with the Zen 2.0 7nm Ryzen 9 3900X, a 12-core, 24-thread, 3.8GHz base, 4.6GHz max, part with 70MB total cache, and 105W TDP. That's a lot less wattage than the equivalent Intel part, for what it's worth. The 3900X will set you back $499, again a lot less than Intel's rival components.

Third-generation Ryzen chips are due to go on sale from July 7. That's 7nm on 7/7. Neat. You can catch AMD's Computex keynote video here, or find its summary here.

That summary, interestingly enough, lists a couple of Ryzen 5 processors not announced during Su's Computex keynote: the 3600X, a six-core, 12-thread, 3.8GHz base, 4.4GHz max, 35MB total cache, 95W TDP chip costing $249; and the 3600, a six-core, 12-thread, 3.6GHz base, 4.2GHz max, 35MB total cache, 65W TDP chip costing $199. Like all the other third-gen Ryzen parts, they have 40 lanes of PCIe 4.0 and are due to go on sale from July 7.

Also, AMD's 7nm chips are, to the best of our knowledge, manufactured by Taiwan's TSMC.

Intel

Intel's official Computex keynote is on Tuesday, May 28, but it couldn't help itself from trying to steal AMD's thunder on Sunday by revealing a few details about its upcoming chips.

Chipzilla claimed its forthcoming technology outperforms AMD's processors, though as knowledgeable netizens spotted in the fine-print of Intel's benchmarks, the Xeon maker was being a little unfair in its comparisons. Intel gave its own next-gen Core CPU faster RAM than an AMD Ryzen processor under test, giving the Intel component an edge in a head-to-head speed test.

Given Intel has a virtual monopoly in the x86 compute world, there's no need for it to fudge its benchmarks, unless it's that scared of AMD?

So, what did Intel tease today? There's an eight-core Special Edition Core i9-9900KS coming up that can run all cores simultaneously at 4GHz base and 5GHz in turbo mode. That's 400MHz and 300MHz higher than the i9-9900K, respectively.

Also, Intel's first proper 10nm laptop-aimed Ice Lake Core processors, using Sunny Cove cores, will start shipping next month, it was claimed. Computers using the processor family will be on sale by Christmas 2019, we're told. This would be the 10nm process node that was supposed to arrive in 2015 but has repeatedly run into serious fabrication problems and years-long delays.

For what it's worth, Intel reckons it will start shipping 7nm parts in 2020 and 2021.

Sunny Cove features Intel's 11th-generation graphics hardware, Wi-Fi 6 networking, Thunderbolt 3 interfaces, acceleration for neural-network math, and other bits and pieces. Intel also talked up its second-generation Xeon Scalable processors. ®

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