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posted by mrpg on Friday January 13 2017, @12:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the 8-is-enough dept.

Some of Intel's cheapest dual-core CPUs will now have four threads enabled rather than just two, in what may be a move to compete with AMD's upcoming Ryzen CPUs, which all have two threads per core:

The Pentium series traditionally consists of low-power, dual-core offerings with no [Hyper-Threading (HT)]. Pentiums serve as the low-end alternative to the i3 series, which features dual-core offerings with HT enabled. The addition of HT to the Pentium series expands its range, but there are still a few key differentiators compared to the i3 series.

[...] The HT-enabled Pentiums create a challenge to AMD's line of low-end processors, and of course, some will speculate that it appears that Intel is bolstering its low-end products in the face of AMD's pending Ryzen onslaught. In either case, the HT-powered Pentiums add a welcome new wrinkle to the low end. The processors are listed on Intel's ARK but are currently available only for preorder.


Original Submission

Related Stories

New Details of AMD's Desktop Zen/"Ryzen" Chips Released 24 comments

AMD has released more details about its upcoming desktop CPUs:

For starters, it's no longer referred to by the architectural code-name "Zen," or by the desktop-specific implementation "Summit Ridge." Instead, you'll see those first CPUs show up on store shelves under the "Ryzen" brand. (As in, the company's CPU portfolio is reborn, or risen. Think of that what you will. [However, it is pronounced "Rye-zen".]) For now, it's distinct from the FX moniker, which just doesn't have the enthusiast cachet it did 13 years ago.

New features include:

  • "Pure Power", which monitors temperature, speed, voltage, and power consumption in real time
  • Clock speeds that can be adjusted by 25 MHz steps, rather than the typical 100 MHz increments of previous chips
  • "Extended Frequency Range", an automated system for overclocking when cooling is sufficient
  • A "true artificial network" for preloading instructions and prefetching data

AMD's Ryzen desktop chips are said to be on par with Intel's extreme/enthusiast chips such as the i7-6900K, for around half the price. The release date is still Q1 2017.

Previously: AMD Stock Jumps Ahead of Zen Preview and Licensing Rumors


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @01:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @01:12PM (#453270)

    No AVX-512 in Kaby. It's a shame because with those few processors which support AVX-512, you still get registers all the way to XMM31, instead of only XMM15 with AVX2, even if you don't use the full width of the ZMM registers.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Friday January 13 2017, @01:30PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 13 2017, @01:30PM (#453276) Journal

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVX-512#CPUs_with_AVX-512 [wikipedia.org]

      https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Intel-Cannonlake-Clang [phoronix.com]

      Ignoring the Skylake Xeons, it looks like we will see support for AVX-512 in Cannonlake (I'm assuming mainstream chips). In late 2017. And as the 10nm shrink, it will actually have some kind of performance benefits over Kaby Lake. We can also expect the 2 core, 4 thread Pentium trend to continue.

      I haven't looked much into this until now, but on the higher performance side it looks like Intel will continue 14nm for a 4th gen (H2 2017) instead of making all the chips 10nm Cannonlake. That's Coffee Lake [wikipedia.org]. So we may see Cannonlake Pentiums and mobile chips, but the higher-end CPUs will remain on 14nm. That's where the rumor that Intel will launch a "mainstream" 6-core Cannonlake CPU [guru3d.com] comes in. Instead of repeating the mediocrity of Kaby Lake, why not throw Intel fans 2 more cores without significantly jacking up the price?

      News to me: Not only is Intel pushing 6 cores, but they will do it for the laptop CPUs [digitaltrends.com] too.

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      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday January 13 2017, @01:58PM

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 13 2017, @01:58PM (#453290) Journal

        Sorry, meant to say "mainstream" 6-core COFFEE LAKE CPU.

        All these damn *lakes.

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @02:13PM (#453302)

          Lakes, Wells, Bridges. Informally I used the unofficial codename Gesher so as not to mention the name of Hurricane Sandy in conversation. Gesher, Ivy, Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake, Kaby works for me.

        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday January 13 2017, @09:50PM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 13 2017, @09:50PM (#453478) Journal

          A lake of coffee sounds damn good right about now...

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          • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday January 16 2017, @02:16PM

            by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 16 2017, @02:16PM (#454374)

            Probably has less scum on the bottom than my current coffee cup.

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  • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday January 13 2017, @03:49PM

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 13 2017, @03:49PM (#453345)

    The cheapest Ryzen coming out next month will have 4 cores (8 threads) and cost ~150$. That's double the cores and double the price of current Intel Pentiums. Also, the initial Ryzen chips won't have integrated video like the Pentiums. So, not really a direct competition there. When the Ryzen APUs come out (someday?) there may be a sub-100$ option. That must be where the competition will take place. That's pretty low-end though.

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    • (Score: 2) by hamsterdan on Friday January 13 2017, @11:54PM

      by hamsterdan (2829) on Friday January 13 2017, @11:54PM (#453598)

      For everyday use, my old DELL Optiplex 755 with a 3.16 dual-core CORE2Duo does the job (old Agility2 SSD). couple of years old. It's been upgraded to 8GB RAM, Soundblaster Audigy2 and Radeon 7750. Next week it will be transplanted with a Q6600 (tricked into running at 3GHZ by painting pads with window defogger paint). Unless I intend to run DooM, everything will run as smooth as a newer machine (thanks the SSD)

      For the last couple years, upgrading is not needed for common jobs...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @06:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @06:08PM (#453379)

    The processors on equipment I use has been 4, 6, 8, 12 threads per core for decades with up to 64 and 256 cores per machine. Maybe it is time to talk about real processing ability not use thread / core counts??

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday January 13 2017, @06:39PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 13 2017, @06:39PM (#453391) Journal

      The context is all there in the summary. It's about consumer CPUs. Are you using a web browser right now on the "equipment" you are talking about?

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @10:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @10:43PM (#453940)

        Yup. X works great.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @10:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13 2017, @10:07PM (#453501)

    I always wanted to turn HT off on my netbook. It has an Atom with 2 cores and HT on by default and is seriously underpowered. I wanted each core to just do one task at full capacity rather than bollocks around with interleaving threads. Unfortunately HT was just ON with no bios option to turn it off.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:13AM (#453613)

      Fortunately the results of that experiment are usually pretty poor.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:12AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:12AM (#453652)

      I'm not sure what your particular application is, but I don't think you really need that.

      I used to use a dual-core atom netbook (without HT), and was able to wring substantial performance increases out of mplayer with a script that used cgroup shenanigans to lock mplayer on cpu0, and left everything else to fight over cpu1, then put everything back on both cores on exit. (There was also a bit where it copied the video file to a tmpfs ram drive, to keep background I/O to the SD card from causing stuttering, but that's irrelevant here.) I think a HT CPU should show up as 4 CPUs in software, and so you could do similar tricks to run everything on cpu0 and cpu2 (I think... or is it 0 and 1?) in software, while keeping each core's second/virtual thread idle.

      But unless you actually have two specific processes/threads you want to maximize at all costs, I think a better approach would be to lock one process at a time (the currently-important one, as in my mplayer script) to one half-core, nothing on the matching half-core, and leave everything else to both halves of the other core.

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday January 14 2017, @08:00AM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday January 14 2017, @08:00AM (#453736) Journal

        In Linux, at least, HT is handled exactly like that.