back to article In colossal surprise, Intel says new vPro processors are quite a bit better than the old ones

Intel has announced the tenth generation of its Core vPro microprocessors, the silicon it aims at business desktops – and now says the chips are also just the thing for remote working. The new 14nm gear uses the Comet Lake, which wrings a fourth set of updates out of the Skylake architecture. As ever, Intel has run some …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scratch, Scratch-scratch, Scraaaaatch

    <Sound of barrel being scraped>

    My next will be a Ryzen something or other

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Scratch, Scratch-scratch, Scraaaaatch

      Got a Ryzen, very happy with it.

      Just be careful if getting an AM4 socket desktop, and if you want it to be upgradable to the new Zen 3 chips later on, as AMD just announced that only the 500 based chip-sets (X570 + B550) will support Zen 3. Basically breaking their earlier commitment to support all AM4 CPU's through 2020 on existing AM4 platforms.

      So anyone with for example a brand new X470 or B450 board (even the new 'Max' versions) can't upgrade past Zen 2. (But that still means up to a 16 core, 32 thread beast of a machine, if going desktop).

      1. A Known Coward

        Re: Scratch, Scratch-scratch, Scraaaaatch

        2020 isn't over yet and Zen 3 desktop processors aren't out yet? Maybe a bit premature to say they've broken any promises yet.

        The X570/B550 didn't support first gen processors either, so if you want to be accurate then you'd have to say that the promise was broken in June last year.

        That said, all motherboard manufacturers have said it's not actually AMD's fault. The BIOS's of those existing AM4 motherboards don't have room for the microcode of another generation of processors in addition to the current three generations they already support. It's the motherboard manufacturer's who spec the BIOS ROM size, not AMD.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Scratch, Scratch-scratch, Scraaaaatch

          AMD have stated they will not support Zen 3 on anything other than X570/B550 (and the new 600 boards that are coming), this has already been confirmed in press releases from AMD and interviews with them.

          Motherboards manufacturers, and many in the tech press, have stated the ROM size is a false, invalid excuse being made by AMD, people like MSI were just as surprised as everyone else when AMD said this, as they were still expecting until very recently, that Zen 3 support would still be coming to their B450 Max and other boards. Dropping support for older CPUs can easily free up enough space to add Zen 3, the issue then is the boards wouldn't support the older CPU.

          Irrespective, motherboard manufactures can't add support for Zen 3 without AMD, so unless someone manages to get AMD to change their mind, then there will be Zen 3 on any boards other than the 500 or 600 boards.

      2. Boothy Silver badge

        Re: Scratch, Scratch-scratch, Scraaaaatch

        Replying to my own post here, but just in case anyone reads this now, things have changed (and despite the downvote, what I wrote was true and confirmed by AMD at time of the original posting).

        The new news is that AMD have now backed down on the no Zen 3 support for X400 based boards, such as the B450 Max etc. (Although 300 boards are still unsupported).

        But they have said this will only be available in a beta BIOS from the board manufacturer, at their (the board manufacturers) discretion. The user has to confirm they have a Zen 3 CPU before they can get or apply the beta BIOS (as this BIOS removes older CPU support for some boards, due to ROM size limitations, and so could effectively brick your board if applied without a Zen 3 chip to put in).

  2. Annihilator Silver badge

    How much?

    "Among the numbers we were offered is a 44 per cent boost to data analysis and visualisation compared to Intel processors found in a five-year-old PC"

    Well that's Moore's law fcked then.

    Ignoring that (deliberately over-simplified) statement for a minute though, I'd be a bit disappointed to see *only* 44% increase against a 5 year old model.

    1. cdegroot

      Re: How much?

      I just bought a dirt cheap E5-2650v3 based workstation. 10 Xeon cores and 64GB RAM for less than CA$1500. It feels every bit as fast for “product development” purposes as the MacBook Pro my employer provides at three times the cost.

      Moore’s law is well and truly dead.

  3. Dvon of Edzore

    Does that statistic come with an asterisk?

    Are those benchmarks with or without the Spectre/Meltdown et al mitigations? ISTR a wee performance hit was involved. 'Tis why my next build shall include the sound of many threads being rent asunder by bus number 4.0.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Does that statistic come with an asterisk?

      They're probably benchmarks with the mitigations enabled, although I'm sure they cherry-picked the benchmarks which aren't affected by the Spectre stuff (iirc the slowdown is quite dependant on exactly what you're asking the chip to do).

  4. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    Is SMT still there?

    The Hyperthreading / SMT feature is still there. Is the new model susceptible to the cross-threading leaks? What is Intel's official line on this?

    Decisive minds (who have already picked AMD) want to know.

  5. EveryTime

    I'll add an echo: "44% faster" on a cherry-picked subset sounds like pretty much the same performance.

    And I don't see the value in integrating the WiFi. There is a well-defined abstraction to the network with moderate bandwidth required. It's the archetype for a functionality that should be on a separate chip with a vendor-neutral interface.

    1. ExampleOne

      And I don't see the value in integrating the WiFi. There is a well-defined abstraction to the network with moderate bandwidth required. It's the archetype for a functionality that should be on a separate chip with a vendor-neutral interface.

      I think, in battery powered mobile devices, there is a power benefit to integrating it.

      Away from the battery powered mobile device use-case, I completely agree it is better off chip.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      The value is that Intel get to sell both the chip and the wifi module.

      Oh wait, you meant value to the customer...

      1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge

        Well it is like the time the new Pentium made your modem go faster, when you connect with this new setup to a 802.11b wifi network you'll get better performances.

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