Welcome to today's hardware codename hunt! Today we're tracking the movements of new AMD and Intel chips, unreleased into the wilds. A pair of reveals, one from a HWiNFO support update and another direct from Intel themselves, have unearthed some details about new processors from the two big CPU giants.
Check out our pick of the best CPUs for gaming right now.
The Intel database was updated at the end of January to include three new Coffee Lake processors, the Core i5 8600, Core i5 8500, and Core i3 8300. We’ve already heard some unofficial rumours about the new chips having a potential Valentine’s Day release date, but this is the first hard proof of their existence.
Given how well received the Intel Core i5 8400 was, these newer, slightly faster Coffee Lake parts could represent some tasty gaming chips. The expectation is that the 8500 and 8600 will use the same non-HyperThreaded six-core design, but with 3GHz and the 3.1GHz base clockspeeds to start off from.
The Core i5 8400 boosts up to a maximum of 4GHz on a single thread, so it’s not unreasonable to expect an all-core Turbo speed getting mighty close to that. Obviously they’re both non-K processors so there will be little chance of being able to boost the clocks that much on your own.
There’s still no sign of the sort of budget motherboard chipsets that would make these lower spec Coffee Lake processors in any way relevant, but at least there will be more options when these land than there was at the initial paper launch of Intel’s latest CPU generation.
Meanwhile the latest component support list from system monitoring software, HWiNFO, has listed some more unreleased hardware. As well as providing support for the upcoming range of Intel Ice Lake processors, the listing also shows support a host of new AMD kit too.
The upcoming AMD Ryzen 2 chips, launching in April, are represented under their Pinnacle Ridge (Zen+) codename, and so are the Raven Ridge desktop APUs. We’re not entirely sure what the listed ‘Raven2X’ chip is they’re supporting, however, but I’d love it to be a Raven Ridge with twice the GPU power… I mean, it’s not, but wouldn’t that be lovely?
Finally HWiNFO are also listing support for the next generation of Zen 2 processors. That seems a little premature when we’re not expecting the 7nm Zen 2 parts to start appearing until next year, but there are reports the successor to the current Epyc server chips, possibly code-named Starship, will begin sampling this year. That would mean AMD are rocking both 7nm GPU and 7nm CPU silicon out in 2018. Damn.
The list also mentions the desktop versions of the 7nm AMD Zen 2 processors too, the AMD Matisse chips. If the 7nm Zen 2 design is ready for sampling this year in mega server chip form - potentially with 48 cores and 96 threads - then that bodes well for the desktop parts to follow in 2019 without delay.
Lurking at the bottom of the same component support list is support for Nvidia's Volta GPUs, but as yet there is still seemingly only support for the Tesla V100 and Titan V cards being shown. That said there are two variants of the GV100 GPU at the heart of those parts, the GV100-A and GV100-B. This says nothing to the hopefully upcoming gaming versions of Volta, but could indicate the two different version of the chip with 16GB and 12GB of HBM2 memory.