back to article Fresh chips from Intel (yay?) at 14nm (awww)

Intel has unveiled a new line of Coffee Lake 8th gen Core processors, this time aiming for the gaming and creative crowds. Chipzilla said today the new desktop line of i3, i5 and i7 chips would be unlocked to allow hobbyist users to overclock the parts at higher frequencies, as well as introducing the first line of six-core …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile AMD is having 7nm taped out on it's behalf. Best x86 wars we've had in years.

    1. Jonathan Schwatrz

      Re: AC

      "Meanwhile AMD is having 7nm taped out....." Yeah, you do remember when everyone was saying the original Core series were dead because AMD's Bulldozer had more cores, right? The truth is it's the whole CPU package, it's integration with good motherboards and peripherals, that actually makes a difference.

      Besides, everyone knows SPARC is better!

      Yours with Omnipotent Powers Of Industry Insight,

      Johnathan Schwartz.

      1. Mikel

        Re: AC

        That's an old tale. The news today is that Ryzen and Epyc are legit.

      2. xXSwolGunzXx

        Re: AC

        I remember just about no one saying that, except for my boss, who insisted on Bulldozer chips so our servers would have FORTY-EIGHT CORES. Bulldozer was shit and obsolete before it shipped. Epyc at least has a MIPS/$ advantage. For the first time in this decade, speccing AMD in a server isn't sufficient grounds for termination.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AC

          Um opterons were the first x64 and the first gen were better then their intel counter part. Since when has speccing and AMD server been grounds for termination ?

      3. Gerhard Mack

        Re: AC

        "Yeah, you do remember when everyone was saying the original Core series were dead because AMD's Bulldozer had more cores, right?"

        Don't remember anyone saying that. I skipped the bulldozer when it's 8 core was benchmarking slower than my previous generation AMD 6 core.

        But really, even if you don't buy AMD, the latest resurgence is good for you considering Intel is going to be forced to compete again.

  2. Chemical Bob

    Coffee Lake?!

    An *entire* lake full of coffee? OMFG!

    Icon because you'll have to go after drinking that much...

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    10nm is 45 atoms wide.

    No wonder they are close to 3 years behind.

    Then there is the the thickness of the oxide to worry about.

    1. Mikel

      Re: 10nm is 45 atoms wide.

      Any fool can tell you that's 44 too many.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Any fool can tell you that's 44 too many.

        As you just did.

        So what's your plan to get there?

  4. Jimbo in Thailand

    We can all thank AMD for this

    Had AMD not released their powerful new Ryzen line of chips recently it's a given that super-sloth Intel would have released f**k all interesting new chips again this year. That includes the recent Core i9 series.

    And will this new Intel "gaming" line of CPUs be allowed to run on the still popular Windows 7? Will it ever snow in Bangkok? There's your answer.

    1. gregthecanuck
      Thumb Up

      Re: We can all thank AMD for this

      Cannot upvote this enough!!

  5. Jonathan Schwatrz


    Ha! Everyone knows real desktops will be running My Latest SPARC CPUs, The Almost As Awesome As I Am SPARC M8! The M8 will of course power all the servers in the World and make coffee and toast to feed the hungry. Twice daily.

    Bow down before me, lesser beings!

    I would say "yours in a god-like manner" but gods should really be trying to be more to be like Me,

    Johnathan Schwartz.

    PS: I would like to make it clear that it is a vicious rumour from The Scum Of Redmond that "CPU" at Oracle refers only to Critical Patch Updates rather than silicon. They will pay for their lies!

    1. PNGuinn

      Re: Fools! @ Jonathan Schwatrz

      Agreed, any fule kno it can make coffee and toast, and do that simultaneously, but ...

      Can it simultaneously drain the coffee lake, AND level the toast mountain while peeing the processed coffee over Android and sh***ing the toasty guano over Slurp, whilst simultaneously emitting a self satisfied sigh?

      Enquiring minds etc ...

  6. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    "We are laser-focused on giving the enthusiast community the ultimate desktop experience"

    If I were in the same room as a manager who decided to one-up the management-speak overuse of "focused" to "laser-focused", I'd leave, at best. Nut him at worst.

  7. DougS Silver badge

    Intel's 14nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 10nm

    And their 10nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 7nm. That said, Intel still isn't shipping 10nm CPUs and rumor has it their 10nm process is now getting pushed back to late 2018. That means Apple's A12 built on TSMC's 7nm process will be shipped in the tens of millions by the time Intel starts shipping 10nm CPUs in quantity.

    Intel has lost their process lead, and the main reason is the money Apple, Qualcomm and others have been pouring into fabs since smartphones became a mass market product. That money has allowed TSMC and Samsung to invest heavily and catch up and soon surpass Intel. Less than a decade ago Intel had around a three year lead on the foundries, and if they hadn't been busy trying to push x86 for mobile they might taken some of that cash and preserved their lead.

    Their failed mobile strategy will probably be taught in business schools in 2030 as a cautionary tale about hubris.

    1. Jonathan Schwatrz

      Re: DougS Re: Intel's 14nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 10nm

      "....Their failed mobile strategy will probably be taught in business schools in 2030 as a cautionary tale about hubris." Yeah, maybe. You see, people said the same when Intel slipped behind in the graphics cards wars (anyone still running a Voodoo card now?), and the again when Intel didn't dominate the first wave of SSDs (remember OCZ?). And many shouted it with glee when AMD's Opteron brought us extended 64-bit computing in white box servers, convinced it meant the death of Intel. Even Apple ended up putting Intel CPUs into Macs. Intel are not only still here, they have done almost as well as Me!

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: DougS Intel's 14nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 10nm

        It has failed. Even Intel no longer believes they have a chance to win any significant market share in mobile. The only reason anyone would have ever considered x86 in a phone was 1) if it was significantly faster than ARM in a phone or 2) because they want to run standard Windows applications on a phone. Intel couldn't even manage #1 when they did have a process lead, without it they know they have no chance, that's why they axed the product line. #2 depended on Windows Phone becoming a success, and we all know what happened there.

        Intel winning the graphics wars was inevitable when they started integrating the functionality on-chip, because most people don't need high end graphics performance. Anyone who thought they'd fail was an idiot to believe people would want to spend more getting a low end discrete card instead. They haven't bothered with the high end market because they know every generation of integrated GPU nibbles away a little more of the discrete card market. ATI was already forced to sell itself, the same fate awaits NVidia eventually.

        Anyway, I'm not saying this will kill Intel, they will retain their x86 quasi monopoly because AMD is a terminally weak company that Intel can put back in their place with some appropriately placed price cuts to starve them of revenue. What it has done is killed their process lead which means AMD will now be competing with them on equal footing, thus Intel will have to resort to such price cuts more often.

        Intel's plan of becoming a foundry to help fill their fabs has fallen flat on its face, as without a process lead they have no competitive advantage against TSMC, Samsung and GF, and they're just another competitor, with a higher cost base and annoyingly restrictive design rules. I wouldn't be surprised to see Intel sell off their fabs and use a foundry within a decade. They make their money from selling x86 CPUs that are the defacto standard, not from owning their own fabs. That was only worthwhile when it offered a competitive advantage, but that's gone now.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: DougS Intel's 14nm is roughly equivalent to TSMC & Samsung's 10nm

          I've had some insight into Intel's fab processes. I doubt they'd EVER got with a foundry structure. They do things differently and with much tighter control than most foundries can provide from what I've seen. I'm not saying it's impossible but Intel currently has many reasons to stick to producing in-house. (Also, there's not foundry big enough to support Intel production next to anything else. If they sell their fabs they'd then be renting them back at probably twice the cost)

  8. Mage Silver badge

    14nm, 10nm, 7nm

    It's not the real device geometry in the sense that 90nm was, or even 45nm. The size now refers to smallest feature, so it is largely PR rather than as significant as device shrinkage in the past.

    1. IanDs

      Re: 14nm, 10nm, 7nm

      It's pure marketing nowadays, it doesn't even refer to the smallest feature -- at 7nm, literally nothing on the chip is this small. If we'd stuck to the traditional (and meaningful) "minimum metal width/spacing", 7nm processes would be called 20nm...

  9. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Less than impressive..

    Single threaded performance, if it doesn't use AVX 512 enhancements, appears identical to previous chips. Overall it is faster, but it depends on the benchmark. Game performance is highly variable and not always appreciably faster than either Ryzen or previous Intel generations. Looks like the extra cores might possibly be of use in strategy games.

    It may come down to how decent an overclocker it is.

  10. imanidiot Silver badge

    Intel waiting on EUV?

    EUV seems to be on the edge of being ready for volume production, maybe they are waiting for ASML to finally get a good enough system. I wouldn't be surprised if Intel has a "first us, then the other guys" deal to get their systems before the competition.

  11. analyzer

    I was curious about PCIe

    The best Intel have is 42 PCIe lanes whereas AMD are touting 128. It's all very well having the fastest and highest number of cores on one silicon slab but at some point you have to shovel data into and out of the beast, otherwise known as throughput.

    With 3 times the PCIe lanes available I don't think AMD will have to match Intel speeds or core counts to be able to best them in genuine real world environments. Until Intel add more PCIe lanes their actual throughput could easily look pretty sick against AMD.

    I haven't seen a motherboard that fits out the entire 128 yet and I'm fairly sure that I don't want to see the price of a MB with 128 PCIe slots or how much to fill them all.

    This is something that Intel have had no answer for and seemingly still hasn't. This reduces them to 'look how fast single thread is','look how many cores','look at the benchmarks'. "No no don't look over there that's the nasty nasty throughput thing."

    Hey Intel this is called competition, you may even have to stop gouging our wallets.

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