I used to write bi-weekly blog posts in a series called Glenn’s Tech Insights. Since I’m not doing that any longer, I will continue to write about HW news on a regular basis here.
Intel Comet Lake F Desktop Processors
A Uruguayan blog called Informática Cero has published alleged specifications for Intel’s upcoming 10th Generation 14nm Comet Lake F-series and KF-series desktop processors. In case you are wondering, the F-series are processors that don’t have integrated graphics. The KF-series are unlocked parts with a higher TDP rating. Intel has sometimes (but not always) sold these for less money than their regular desktop processors that do have integrated graphics.
Integrated Graphics Can Be Useful
It is nice to have integrated graphics in case your budget is so tight that you don’t want to pay for a discrete graphics card. Depending on what you are doing, you many not actually need anything better than integrated graphics.
Integrated graphics is also nice for troubleshooting and as a backup if your discrete graphics card ever failed. That being said, if you know that you are going to be buying a discrete graphics card, it would be nice to be able to pay less money for a KF or F part.
Some of the relevant specifications are in Table 1. The Core i9 parts also are supposed to have “Thermal Velocity Boost” which lets them boost their clock speeds even higher than the single core turbo boost speed.
|Model||Cores/Threads||Base Clock||Single Core Turbo|
|Core i9-10900KF||10/20||3.7 GHz||5.1 GHz|
|Core i7-10700KF||8/16||3.8 GHz||5.0 GHz|
|Core i5-10600KF||6/12||4.1 GHz||4.8 GHz|
|Core i9-10900F||10/20||2.8 GHz||5.0 GHz|
|Core i7-10700F||8/16||2.9 GHz||4.7 GHz|
|Core i5-10600F||6/12||2.9 GHz||4.3 GHz|
These processors are rumored to be coming out in April of 2020. They are also rumored to require new LGA 1200 socket motherboards. WCCFTech has more details here. I don’t have high high hopes for the higher-end Comet Lake desktop processors, but the Core i5 parts might be interesting for budget builds. This family is at least something new for Intel to have available in the spring.
Two New AMD EPYC 7002 SKUs
This week, AMD launched two new server processors, the AMD EPYC 7662 and AMD EPYC 7532. The EPYC 7662 is a 64C/128T part while the EPYC 7532 is a 32C/64T part.
AMD EPYC 7662
The AMD EPYC 7662 has 64C/128T with 256MB of L3 cache. This processor has a TDP of 225W, which is higher than the existing 64C/128T AMD EPYC 7702. The theory behind this is that the extra TDP headroom might mean that it can have more cores running above base clock speed for a longer time.
For SQL Server usage, I still think the 64C/128T AMD EPYC 7742 would be a better choice because of it’s higher base clock speed of 2.25 GHz.
AMD EPYC 7532
The AMD EPYC 7532 has 32C/64T with 256MB of L3 cache. This processor has a TDP of 200W. This chip, is an eight CCD design. This means that it has eight chiplets that are attached to the central I/O die. Each chiplet has 4 physical cores and 32MB of L3 cache active per chiplet. With the EPYC 7532, each physical core gets 8MB of cache. This is a lot more L3 cache/core than you get with Intel Xeon.
The EPYC 7532 has twice the L3 cache of any other 32C/64T AMD EPYC 7002 series processors. Having double the L3 cache is going to be useful for database applications like SQL Server. On the other hand, the EPYC 7532 has a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz compared to the base clock speed of 2.9 GHz for the AMD EPYC 7542. It would be very interesting to run some SQL Server benchmarks comparing the EPYC 7532 to the EPYC 7542!
As you can probably tell, I am not that impressed with the upcoming Intel Comet Lake desktop processors, especially the KF and F SKUs. The K SKUs (which are unlocked and do have integrated graphics) may be more interesting.
The AMD EPYC 7532 could work well for some SQL Server workloads (compared to the EPYC 7542). Having double the L3 cache vs. having a higher base clock speed is going to have different effects depending on the workload.
If you find this sort of content interesting, please let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!