CES 2015 Las Vegas, NV – Intel Suite
Today we met up with the Intel crew to see what they are bringing to the market in 2015. Unlike previous years where the “big” news was about big CPUs and processing power, this year was about getting more power in a smaller package and also finding ways to compare products across multiple platforms.
IDF-2014 San Francisco: This week at IDF, Supermicro is showing their latest X10 servers featuring a dual-processor Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 which is based on 22nm process and Haswell microarchitecture.
According to recent rumors it seems that TSMC and Samsung will be able to push out 14nm full node and 16nm half node FinFET products earlier than anticipated. This is certainly going to be good news for many customers of the two foundry companies including Apple and nVidia.
There is a rumor that is claiming AMD will not have a new desktop processor until 2016 that has been making the rounds today. The claim is that AMD is shifting their current focus to mobile CPUs and APUs. Originally it was thought that Carrizo would be the next chip offering that that it would keep up with Intel by offering support for DDR4.
While a nice layout, cool colors and a good feature set listed on the box might be nice performance is what most people are looking for in a motherboard. A good feature set does not matter so much if the board is not able to perform to the level you want it to. For the most part Asus has done a good job in balancing out their features and performance. This balance has extended even down to their entry level boards as they trickle down what they learn from their Republic of Gamer’s Boards. So where does the Z97-A fit into all of this? Let’s find out.
AMD fans might have some good news for them in the next few months. It seems that one of the geniuses that helped to bring the K7 and K8 CPUs to the world, Jim Keller, is back at AMD and will be working on the next generation of CPUs and APUs. AMD (as many will remember) got themselves into trouble after they scooped up ATi for a cool $5.4 Billion dollars. This move was intended to bring AMD more in line with what Intel had (and had planned). In the end the buyout hurt both AMD and ATi putting both behind their rivals for more than a few years.
In development it has always been a given that if you can code for a specific build of materials or specific hardware platform you can usually get more out of the application you are developing. Nowhere was this more evident than when RISC CPUS were on the market. At the time that DEC Alpha was king we saw a 667MHz CPU slamming 1GHz processors from both AMD and Intel. The reason for this was that the software was specifically coded to take advantage of that platform.
Right after the launch of the Haswell Refresh named Devil’s Canyon we are starting to hear the rumors about Haswell-E CPUs. The going rumor now is that Intel will drop this new CPU complete with DDR4 support in September of this year (2014). If this is true that means we will see some new boards as well. We have been hearing about the X99 chipset for a while now and we might see another repeat of the “leak” that we saw with the Z97. We just wonder which partner will do the leaking this time.
One of the things that makes a board stand out from the crowd, beside features and price, is how well it performs. Even with a massive feature set a board is not going to do well if the performance is not there. With the Z97-I Asus is trying to push the same level of features that you would find in a larger board, but will they be able to get the same level of performance? That is what we are looking to find out today. So without much in the way of ceremony, let’s get into why you are here and see what the Z97-I is hiding inside its small frame. You can also check out our coverage of the design and features of the Z97I Plus.
As Intel moves more and more core components to their CPU we are seeing an interesting shift in motherboard design. The manufacturers are all realizing that the performance difference between them are narrowing. The days of seeing a massive difference in benchmark scores are almost gone. However, instead of just pushing out a bunch of cookie cutter boards some motherboard makers are looking for new ways to differentiate their boards. Asus is one of these makers and we will be taking a look at a board that has more than a few departures from the normal motherboard design philosophy. This is the Asus Z97-A. So without too much more delay, let’s dive in and see what Asus has given us.