There was news this week on the DIY/enthusiast front, as updated mounting kits for Intel’s Alder Lake-S are arriving and AMD CPU market share is growing in most segments. We also have news of Nvidia finally admitting that its purchase of Arm may not go as planned and reports of an IPO from GlobalFoundries.
There’s plenty more, of course, as you’ll find the news article and video embed below.
01:11 – GigaOops: GBT Hack Exposes AMD Threadripper 5000
At least 7GB of confidential documents have been leaked resulting from a recent Gigabyte server hack, including documents from AMD and Intel shared with motherboard partners in advance of launches.
While Gigabyte has been dealing with angry customers whose PSUs have been turned into A-short from de_dust2, the company has also been handling relationships with its partners who keep it under NDA.
Among the more interesting leaks, WCCFTech surfaced a legitimate document showing 4 infrastructure groups with upcoming AMD TR 5000 CPUs.
The current plan includes Threadripper sTRX4 HEDT CPUs offering 24-, 32-, and 64-core variants, with the Pro line (sWRX8) including 12, 16, 24, 32, and 64-core variants.
As we’ve shown in our own past documents we’ve retrieved, AMD lists its CPUs by infrastructure group for partners. The sTRX4 CPUs are both listed as 280W TDP — noting again that TDP doesn’t include “power” anywhere in the formula for AMD — and so the 280W TDP number means a different thing for sWRX8 than sTRX4. TDP is derived from the formula TDP (Watts) = (tCase°C – tAmbient°C)/(HSF θca). Here, we see tCase is 60 on sTRX4 and 75 on sWRX8, and that theta CA also changes to 0.12, so the numbers are not like-for-like.
Anyway, the leak also notes the dimensions of the CPUs and the Z-height for them, including thermal conductivity of individual components of the CPU. This is the most interesting to us, as it’s rarely seen information: The lid of the CPU (the IHS), which is nickel-plated copper, is listed at 385W/mK. We’re assuming that’s at a standard 25C for thermal conductivity ratings. The core die TIM, or the interface between the CCD and the lid, is 62W/mK. The die itself is about 118W/mK, with flip-chip bumps and the LGA pins being the lowest thermal conductivity. Considering most of the heat goes into the lid and not the socket, all of this makes sense. There’s also a substrate between the dies and LGA to get through.
At GN, we’ll be using this information to study and better understand how CPUs interface with cooling solutions. This is incredibly useful to our understanding of coolers and heat transfer within a CPU package.
There is no official release date that has been exposed yet, although it may also be in the leaked documents but not known at the time of filming. We’d assume by end of year.
Source: Gigabyte AMD leak
06:55 – AMD’s x86 Market Share Closing In on 14-Year High
According to the latest batch of data from Mercury Research for Q2’ 2021 (via Tom’s Hardware), we see that AMD is closing in on a 14-year high for x86 CPU market share. This is despite the fact that AMD is effectively bottlenecked by production constraints, as TSMC only has so much capacity to offer, and as both companies continue to deal with component shortages that have left production lines leaner than usual.
Per Mercury Research, AMD notched a 22.5% share of the total x86 market, a number it hasn’t hit since 2007 during its Athlon and Opteron heydays. AMD’s x86 market share peaked back in 2006, when it accounted for 25.3% of the CPU market.
Breaking things down by segment, AMD actually lost 2.3 percentage points in the desktop market, moving the company down to 17.1% of the market. Although, as CPU makers tend to do when markets become supply limited, AMD has been prioritizing SKUs with higher margins. That likely accounts for the slight decline in market share. Offsetting that loss, however, is the fact that AMD has gained ground in the notebook segment, gaining 1.9 percentage points to bring it up to 20% of the market.
AMD also gained a very slight 0.6 percentage points in the server market, bringing its share up to 9.5%. As usual, Mercury Research captured data from all x86 class servers, regardless of socket count, whereas AMD and other research firms cite numbers only capturing 1P and 2P servers — which are the markets AMD competes in. For instance, other research firms such as Omdia have AMD closer to 15% of the server market.
09:04 – Noctua’s Cooler Mounting Kits Available in October
As previously mentioned, Noctua assured customers many months ago that existing LGA115x coolers would be compatible with Intel’s Alder Lake, but stopped just short of mentioning new mounting kits. Now, the company has officially announced its new free and updated mounting kits for Intel’s LGA1700 socket.
Noctua’s NM-i17xx-MP83 and NM-i17xx-MP78 SecuFirm2 mounting kits will allow customers with current Noctua CPU coolers to upgrade to Intel’s Alder Lake-S CPUs without having to purchase new coolers. The updated mounting kits address Noctua coolers that use either 78mm or 83mm pitch mounts, and Noctua notes that no pre-assembly or adjustment is required.
Users looking to claim a free mounting kit will need to provide Noctua with a proof of purchase for both an eligible Noctua cooler and an LGA1700 CPU or motherboard. Additionally, the kits will be available as a separate purchase beginning mid-October, with an esteemed price around $8.
“Using a CPU cooler across several platform generations instead of buying a new heatsink for each generation is not only economical, it also helps to reduce unnecessary waste and save precious resources”, says Noctua CEO Roland Mossig. “By upgrading rather than replacing your cooler, you’re actively contributing to a more sustainable PC industry.”
12:49 – Asus Coolers Among First to Support Intel’s LGA1700 Socket
Intel Alder Lake CPUs will debut the LGA1700 socket, marking a significant socket change from previous CPUs.
In the time since, we haven’t heard a whole lot regarding progress on these new mounting kits, until now, as it seems Asus is already shipping new cooling hardware with its ROG Strix II line of AIO liquid coolers. This would make Asus among the first (if not the first) vendor to have an existing in-market cooler that’s LGA1700 socket-ready.
Asus’s ROG Strix II coolers are Asetek-based, like many other competing coolers, which means that other vendors will likely also have updated mounting kits sooner rather than later. One thing of note is that the new mounting brackets support a pattern spanning between 75mm x 75mm and 78mm x 78mm. The range adjustment may or may not have something to do with Intel’s future plans for LGA1700 and Raptor Lake, which is set to succeed Alder Lake towards the end of 2022.
13:51 – Nvidia Says ARM Takeover Might Slow Down
Nvidia is finally coming around to the idea that perhaps it’s not going to smugly steamroll its way through the regulatory process of acquiring Arm. The $40B Nvidia-Arm deal was proposed nearly a year ago, and at the time, Nvidia was citing an 18-month timeline to get the purchase approved and closed.
The deal has slowly wound its way around the globe, hitting several snags along the way.The deal is facing particular scrutiny in the UK, where it’s being heavily investigated on matters of both antitrust and national security. Meanwhile, CNBC has reported that China could take as long as 18 months to reach a conclusion on the proposed Nvidia-Arm deal. China is somewhat notoriously hard to sway in terms of soliciting favor for these types of mergers; China most recently killed the Qualcomm-NXP merger a few years ago.
Nvidia is finally taking notice of the hesitation surrounding the deal, whereas before, Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang seemed to maintain an overly optimistic stance. “Our discussions with regulators are taking longer than initially thought, so it’s pushing out the timetable,” Huang said in a statement to The Financial Times. Huang also noted that it was also “not one particular delay.”
Still, Huang also told The Financial Times that “We’re confident in the deal, we’re confident regulators should recognize the benefits of the acquisition.”
15:36 – GlobalFoundries Has Reportedly Filed For An IPO
According to a report from Reuters, GlobalFoundries has confidentially filed an IPO with regulators in New York that could value the company at $25B. GlobalFoundries has been mulling an IPO for some time now, and had reportedly shelved the idea in the past on account of the global pandemic and market conditions.
Most recently, there have been rumors of a potential purchase of GlobalFoundries by Intel, but this report certainly casts new doubt on any such deal materializing. Furthermore, according to Reuters and its sources, Intel has yet to make any offer for GlobalFoundires, and may not do so at all. The sources point out that such a merger would face intense scrutiny from regulators, and would also threaten GlobalFoundries’ deep partnership with Intel’s competitors, namely AMD.
Although, strategically, if Intel bought GlobalFoundries and NVIDIA bought ARM, it’d box AMD into a difficult position with less negotiating power.
GlobalFoundries is expected to announce its IPO in October of this year, and go public by the end of the year, or early next year. GlobalFoundries recently announced a company-wide rebranding, and that it was breaking ground on a new fab in New York, as well as doubling the capacity of one of its existing fabs, Fab 8.
17:51 – RX 570 Back from the Dead in Dual-GPU Card
AMD’s retired RX 570 GPU, from the Polaris generation, has been pulled from retirement and added in doubles to PCBs for Sapphire’s mining line. This comes from a forum which posted photos of the card, showing two retention kits and two dies on the back of the PCB. The GPU-Z report for the card shows RX 570 Series, and hardware monitoring reported multiple GPUs. The card has a single HDMI port.
Unfortunately, this would likely require a custom VBIOS to make it work for gaming. It’s a mining-targted card. This is the first dual-570 we’ve ever seen, though, so keep an eye out for them eventually hitting the used market and be aware that they likely won’t work for games.
19:50 – Nvidia RTX A2000: Low Profile Ampere for SFF Workstations
Nvidia has taken the wraps off of its latest iteration in its A-series class of workstation and professional GPUs. Nvidia’s RTX A2000 is both Nvidia’s first low-profile RTX card, as well as its first mid-range RTX card for professional use. As AnandTech aptly points out, Nvidia’s previous product stack for professional use excluded ray tracing once you went a couple rungs down the ladder.
The RTX A2000 is based on Nvidia’s GA106 silicon, which has had the hatchet taken to it in terms of SMs and clock speed, with the latter topping out at a boost speed of 1,200MHz. Nvidia also trimmed back VRAM with the A2000, opting for 6GB of 12Gbps GDDR6, with partial ECC memory support. Nvidia lists a 70W TDP for the A2000, and despite being billed as low-profile, the A2000 is still a double slot card, meaning it won’t fit in the most svelte of machines. Also worth mentioning: Don’t confuse this RTX A2000 with the previously announced mobile version for laptops.
Nvidia expects the card to be available in October, with an estimated MSRP of $450.
22:24 – Skyrim Is Immortal, Gets Another Anniversary Port
Bethesda’s Todd Howard demands more Skyrim, and as such, the Skyrim ports will continue until morale improves. Coinciding with QuakeCon 2021 and Skyrim’s 10-year anniversary, Bethesda has announced another re-release for the venerable RPG: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition.
The Anniversary Edition will include the previous Special Edition of the game that was released back in 2016, that was optimized for Xbox One and PS4 and featured high resolution textures and assets, as well as core post-release content such as Dawngaurd, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn.
In addition to official add-ons from Bethesda, the Anniversary Edition will also ship with 500 pieces of content from the Creation Club, Bethesda’s community of both internal and external developers creating mods for Skyrim and Fallout 4. There will also be a new fishing mechanic added to the game, according to Bethesda. Additionally, there’s a proper next-gen update for the Xbox Series X|S and PS5 launching as well, although at the time of writing, we don’t know if that update will come to PC or not (we suspect it will).
Both the Anniversary Edition and the next-gen version will be launching on November 11, 2021, which is the official 10-year anniversary of the game. For those who’ve already purchased the existing Special Edition of the game, the Anniversary Edition will be a free upgrade. If you’ve somehow managed to avoid playing Skyrim for the last 10 years, this is as good a time as any.
GamersNexus was also able to exclusively confirm — and you won’t hear this anywhere else — that in 2049, Skyrim, along with GTA V, will be available to play inside of our own coffin lids. Please look forward to it.
25:03 – Adobe Isn’t Big Enough, Announces Frame.io Acquisition
As if Adobe’s chokehold on creative software wasn’t tight enough, the company has announced its tightening the screws even further with a $1.275B purchase of Frame.io, the collaborative and cloud-based video editing software. According to Bloomberg (via The Verge), Adobe had been working on its own collaborative software implementation, but moved to buy Frame.io as many Adobe customers were already using it.
Frame.io already has support for other Adobe and Creative Cloud applications, such as Premiere Pro and After Effects, and also offers integrations with other video editing suites like Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer. Frame.io’s claim to fame is offering a cloud-based workflow that centralizes assets and projects, and allows for feedback, comments, annotations, and more, in a manner similar to Google’s Workspace apps.
The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of Adobe’s fiscal year, and until that point, Frame.io will continue to operate independently. After the transaction is approved and closed, Frame.io CEO Emery Wells and co-founder John Traver will join Adobe’s payroll.