Tagged With processors

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There are few gambles in the tech world as big as spending billions to build a new computer processor from scratch. Former AMD board member Robert Palmer supposedly compared it to Russian roulette: "You put a gun to your head, pull the trigger, and find out four years later if you blew your brains out."

Six years ago AMD loaded the gun and pulled the trigger, dramatically restructuring itself internally in a mad bid to escape a disaster of its own making. Now we've seen the results and, instead of dying, AMD has a savvy new CPU microarchitecture, Zen, that's the foundation of the shockingly good new series of Ryzen processors. They're so good, in fact, that they could pose a real challenge to Intel's incumbent dominance and change what the computer market looks for the next few years.

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It looks as though Intel has some issues with its next generation of CPUs. Yesterday during an earnings call, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich admitted that Intel would be delaying the highly anticipated Cannon Lake processor until 2019. The delay means Intel's CPUs won't see a very large jump in speed or power efficiency any time soon.

Instead, we'll be getting the just-announced Whiskey Lake, a new CPU architecture, as well as a body of booze I'm sure more than one CPU designer at Intel would like to leap into.

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Modern processors can run at temperatures ranging from 25 to 90 degrees, depending on configuration, cooling and workload. That said, when a CPU takes on a heavy load, that increase tends to be gradual, rather than instantaneous. And it certainly shouldn't occur for basic, undemanding tasks. Unfortunately, Intel's Core i7-7700k might have a temperature problem, with spikes of 30;deg&C not uncommon when, say, opening a webpage.

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Interesting times ahead for fans of thin-yet-high-performance laptops. Last week at Computex, a day after Intel unveiled its Core M fanless processor for 2-in-1 devices, AMD announced the mobile version of its Kaveri A-Series APU chip. AMD calls this new third-gen mobile APU line-up its most advanced ever, ready to go “toe-to-toe” with Intel Core i5 and Core i7, and lead by the first FX-branded enthusiast mobile APUs.