Intel’s newest desktop central processing units (CPUs) have arrived, boasting improved performance and higher speeds, despite still using the company’s ageing 14nm architecture.
There’s a lot of questions around Intel’s new processors, first and foremost being whether these new CPUs can fend off AMD’s excellent 7nm Ryzen chips.
However, for the purposes of this overview, we chose to explore a different avenue of Intel’s new processors, in part because the ‘Intel vs. AMD’ debate has been tackled by several other outlets already and in part because at the moment, we don’t have the means to test out the Ryzen hardware. Instead, I chose to approach Intel’s new products from the perspective of someone who already runs Intel in their PC and might be considering an upgrade.
One thing that stood out to me about Intel’s new CPUs is that the company kept comparing them to previous generations of Intel CPUs. If you look back to the 10th Gen Core announcement post, Intel kept comparing performance against three-year-old PCs with Intel hardware. The argument was that people typically upgrade once every three to four years.
It makes sense, and also put me squarely in the target demographic with a four-year-old Intel PC that was in need of an upgrade. So when Intel sent over some of the new 10th Gen CPUs to test, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to see how a CPU upgrade would directly benefit me, everything else being equal. If you’re curious about how that went, check out the full story here.
This piece, on the other hand, will focus almost exclusively on the new CPUs and whether they’re worth an upgrade for the average gamer who also uses their PC for light video and photo editing.
What’s inside Intel’s 10th Gen Core CPUs
The first CPU I tested was the i5-10600K, which boasts six cores and 12 threads, a base frequency of 4.1GHz and a max turbo frequency of 4.8GHz.
To me, this seemed like almost the perfect direct upgrade path choice for what I was currently running, a 6th Gen Core i5-6500. The 6500 launched back in 2015 and I picked one up in 2016 when I built my PC, largely on the advice that an i5 would be “more than enough” for gaming. Spoiler: it was not. Interestingly, the 6500 also operates on the 14nm architecture.
The other CPU I tested was the Core i9-10900K, the flagship of Intel’s new products. The 10900K sports 10 cores and 20 threads, a 3.7GHz base frequency and a 5.3GHz max turbo frequency. Further, the i9 has a 5.3GHz Intel Thermal Velocity Boost (TVB) frequency. TVB can automatically increase clock frequency above the single-core and multi-core turbo boost based on how much the CPU is operating below max temperature and power budget.
Additionally, Intel’s Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology automatically detects the best performing core on a processor and pushes it harder. However, when running in this mode, the i9’s max frequency becomes 5.2GHz.
Both 10th Gen CPUs run on the 14nm architecture and sport 125W TDPs.
Significant performance uplift
While those numbers are impressive, numbers are just numbers until you put them to the test. I ran my old i5-6500 through a gamut of benchmarks alongside the 10th Gen i5 and i9 to see just what those numbers can do.
Testing included four CPU benchmarks; Cinebench R20, two Blender tests (bmw27 and classroom) as well as running 7-Zip’s LZMA benchmark tool for five minutes. It measures the speed of compressing and decompressing in million instructions per second (MIPS).
Additionally, I ran a few GPU benchmarks to test what impact, if any, the new CPUs had on GPU performance. I also tested some games, both through built-in benchmarks and in actual gameplay, to see what benefits the 10th Gen i5 and i9 brought to the table.
The test bench used for the benchmarks included 16GB of DDR4 RAM, an AMD Radeon 5600 XT GPU and a 128GB SSD to boot Windows 10 and the benchmarks. It’s worth noting that some of the game tests ran off hard drives instead of SSDs, but that shouldn’t significantly impact the performance metrics I measured. Additionally, due to a change in socket type, the i5-6500 uses a different motherboard than the 10th Gen CPUs. Again, it shouldn’t significantly impact performance scores, but since anyone making the leap to a 10th Gen will have to upgrade their motherboard, any performance benefit will count in the CPUs’ favour.
Unsurprisingly, the CPU benchmarks showed a massive gain in performance. In Cinebench, the 10600K more than doubled the score of the ageing 6500. While the 10900K did beat out the 10600K by a large margin, it didn’t quite double the 10th Gen i5’s score.
As for Blender, once again the new CPUs benched much better. The 6500 took forever to complete both benchmarks, sitting at almost 11-minutes to complete the bmw27 test and over 35-minutes to do classroom.
However, the 10600K and 10900K completed bmw27 in about three minutes and 45 seconds and two minutes and 18 seconds respectively.
The classroom test also saw impressive results from the 10th Gen i5, which completed it in just over 12-minutes while the i9 finished in almost seven and a half minutes.
Finally, the 7-Zip benchmark revealed an interesting twist with the performance. The MIPS rating for compression fell in each test, with the Core i9 scoring lowest at 4652 MIPS, almost a thousand below the 6500. Based on the 7-Zip benchmark page, this discrepancy likely has to do with RAM latency, which can significantly impact compression testing.
Decompression, on the other hand, isn’t impacted by RAM as much. It better measures the advantages of things like CPU architecture and hyper-threading. The test results showed huge gains in MIPS from 21,029 on the 6500 to 87,989 on the 10900K.
However, synthetic benchmarks are only part of the story. In a real-world use environment, I found that the 10600K felt like a marked improvement over the 6500. However, the i9 didn’t feel significantly faster than the 10th Gen i5 despite clearly benching better.
Whether I was browsing the web, editing photos or doing other day-to-day tasks, my desktop felt significantly snappier on 10th Gen Intel hardware. Moving large files around, such as pulling RAW photos off my camera, or saving images in Photoshop felt instant whereas the 6500 seemed sluggish by comparison.
Ultimately, the 10900K didn’t feel like a significant step up over the 10600K in typical use. However, I’d also argue that my typical use likely doesn’t significantly stretch the i9’s legs. If you find yourself picking between the two, strongly consider what you’ll be doing with your computer. The jump from the $399 10600K to the $749 10900K likely won’t be worth the cost if your use case doesn’t take full advantage of the CPU.
If you’re a gamer, however, your consideration may change.
Depending on what you play, your CPU could make a huge difference
Let’s kick things off with a look at some synthetic GPU benchmarks. Unsurprisingly, the CPUs didn’t significantly impact the outcome of tests designed to stress the GPU.
First up, I ran FurMark verison 126.96.36.199 with the 1080p preset, which saw scores over 6400 points on all three CPUs, with a slight gain of less than two frames per second (fps) between the older 6th Gen and the newer 10th Gen CPUs, which both registered 108fps averages. Interestingly, the 10900K scored six points lower on average than the 10600K, but I don’t think that’s indicative of a difference in performance between the two. If anything, it could be due to the i9’s lower base clock.
Similarly, the Heaven benchmark on the Extreme preset saw a score jump from 2684 on the 6500 to 2754 on the 10600K. It jumped again to 2767.67 on the 10900K. Framerates also slightly increased from the 6500 to 10600K but didn’t see a significant improvement to the 10900K.
In the first round of game tests, we used each game’s built-in benchmarking tool. Plus, every game tested ran at the highest settings preset. Interestingly, both Total War: Warhammer and Ghost Recon: Wildlands saw the biggest jump going from the 6500 to the 10600K, an improvement of about 10-15fps. Rise of the Tomb Raider on the other hand maintained consistent averages despite the CPU.
In all three tests, the 10900K saw about a one-frame difference in average performance. The biggest factor here would be the CPU usage, which was consistently lower on the 10th Gen processors than the 6500. In other words, we were bumping up against the upper limits of the 5600 XT, but the good news here is that both 10th Gen CPUs — especially the 10900K — should have lots of headroom for future gaming.
The Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers benchmark assigned a score based on performance instead of providing the average fps like the others. While ultimately less informative by comparison, it does indicate that the 10900K can provide some significant performance increase in some titles.
However, the actual gameplay tests I ran were the most telling. In both Battlefield V and Call of Duty: Warzone, the 10900K made a significant difference in gameplay. The caveat here is that unlike the other games with a preset, repeatable benchmark, neither BFV or Warzone offered that. Instead, I recorded the average framerate I got over a few sessions of a given game mode. The downside to this is it could mean variance in results from things like, for example, an easier to render map or a smaller player count. Still, I think the results are telling for both.
BFV saw about a 15fps increase from the 6500 to the 10600K and another 7fps to the 10900K. The most interesting factor here is that the 6500 saw about 90+ percent CPU usage throughout the session while the 10600K hovered around 60-70 percent usage. The 10900K was by far the lowest usage at around 40 percent.
While I wasn’t able to monitor CPU usage data in Warzone, the game also saw significant benefits from upgraded processors, with about a 15fps jump in fps between each CPU.
Both of these games have very high player counts, with BFV offering up to 64 gamers in a match while Warzone can have up to 150. That increases load on the CPU significantly (for example, past tests I’ve done in BFV with the older hardware saw much higher fps in single-player modes than multiplayer with the only real difference being number of players).
Consider your options
Ultimately, I think there are a few takeaways from the above results. On the one hand, making the switch from an older CPU to a newer one can bring some significant benefits both for productivity and gaming. However, temper your expectations — a new CPU won’t have nearly the same impact as, for example, a new GPU [link to companion 5600 XT story].
Further, the impact a new CPU has is heavily dependent on the game and other factors like the hardware it’s paired with. Your mileage in games may vary if you’re running more powerful graphics hardware, playing more CPU intensive games or if you’re trying to achieve higher resolutions than 1080p. I opted to test at 1080p since that’s what the majority of gamers still choose to play at.
If 1080p is your goal, the 10600K will likely be more than enough CPU for you, plus it will have some overclocking room if you’re into that. However, depending on how future games take advantage of things like higher CPU speeds and increased core counts, the 10600K may struggle in the future.
The 10900K is certainly a more futureproof option but at $749 is an expensive one. If you do streaming, video editing or any other tasks along with gaming, the extra cost may be well worth it the benefits it’ll bring in those areas. And while I didn’t get to test it, the Core i7-10700K could serve as an excellent middle ground between the two options at $579.
Performance at what cost
Aside from the upfront price, there are other costs to consider with Intel’s 10th Gen products. Although the company integrated a new thermal solution that helps with temperatures, I still found the CPUs ran a bit on the hot side.
The 10600K fared much better and stuck to around 50 degrees Celsius even in the more intense benchmarks. The 10900K pushed up to 70 degrees, the hottest I’ve ever seen in my own testing, but far from the hottest out there (my old GPU regularly hung out at 80 degrees). The 10900K is also a power-hungry chip with a peak power draw over 300 watts.
Ultimately, before you make any decision regarding a 10th Gen Intel CPU, make sure you compare against AMD’s Ryzen offerings as well. In many cases, Ryzen offers comparable or better performance for less. A Ryzen 9 3900X is currently on sale for $649 with 12 cores, 24 threads.
While the 3900X’s max boost isn’t as high at 4.2GHz, it draws less power and the extra cores help with performance in productivity workloads. In gaming, Intel will likely continue to lead the way.
Intel’s newest CPUs are good, but the company seems to have milked 14nm for all it’s worth now. It remains to be seen if Intel can push past the architecture next year, or if it will find a new way to squeeze 14nm.
Android 11 change causes apps to force quit when installing APKs – MobileSyrup
Android 11 will bring a lot of changes when it arrives, but one significant security change could shake up the way people install apps from third-party sources.
According to details from a Google Issue Tracker thread, Android 11 will force-close apps after users grant permission to install unknown apps. For those unfamiliar with the term, Android has offered the ability to install apps through ‘APK’ files for some time. That means anyone can download an APK from outside the Play Store and install it on their phone.
As a security measure, to install an APK through a third-party app, users need to permit it to install ‘unknown apps.’ For example, if you download an APK with your web browser, it won’t let you install it without permission for your web browser to handle unknown apps.
On Android 10 and older, this process was quite simple. Users downloaded an app, a pop-up would say they need to grant permission. Tapping the ‘Settings’ button in the pop-up would send users to the app’s settings so they could enable the permission. Then, tapping or swiping to go back would generate a second pop-up asking to install the APK.
Android 11 completely disrupts that process. Instead of letting users head back to the app to finish the installation, it will force close that app once users grant it the permission. Then, you have to head back to the app and start the process over from the beginning.
Android 11’s new Scoped Storage system causes the issue
After some back-and-forth between testers and Googlers in the Issue Tracker thread, the search giant finally provided some more detail about what was causing the problem. Essentially, the issue stems from Android 11’s new ‘Scoped Storage’ file management system. Below is the full explanation from Google:
“The way the filesystem and storage mounts are setup in Android R has changed significantly. When an app starts without this permission, it gets a view of the filesystem that doesn’t allow writing to certain directories (eg Android/obb). Once the app has been granted this permission, that view is no longer accurate, and needs to be updated to a view that allows the app to write to certain directories. With the way the filesystem has been setup in R, changing that view on the fly is not possible. As mentioned in comment #16, we’re evaluating internally. I’m just providing additional details why this doesn’t work the way it did on Q.”
Scoped Storage, for the unfamiliar, changes how Android apps can access storage. At a base level, it provides each app an isolated section of storage and limited access to the Android filesystem, instead of granting full access like Android currently does.
On the privacy front, this is a critical change that could prevent apps from snooping around your files. However, Scoped Storage also comes with some issues, such as reduced read and write speeds. And, of course, this makes the process of installing APKs more complicated.
Hopefully Google can develop a solution that means Android doesn’t have to force-quit apps. However, it’s also likely that this problem isn’t high on Google’s priority list. Since users only need to grant permission once per app, they’ll only experience one force-close. The flip side of that, however, is that some people like to keep that permission disabled except for when they need it, which could mean having to force quit an app every time they want to adjust that permission, which also isn’t ideal.
Ps5 Release Date Canada
If you are a fun of PS gaming, the best and sophisticated design and experience is yet to come. The Sony PS5 is set to be the most powerful gaming console that is set to be released in Canada. As the release date of PS5 draws closer, Sony has started to unveil various specifications and features in bits.
The PS5 release date Canada is set to be on Holiday 2020. This new gaming console is designed to drastically revolutionize the PS gaming by increasing efficiency, graphics and reducing the load times so as to improve user’s experience.
The PS5 is set to run on 8-core processors and it will include impressive ray tracing capabilities. In order to learn more about PS5 and PS5 release Canada, we have compiled this post to help you understand about PS5 specifications, release date, games and much more.
PS5 Release Date Canada
Sony which is the Company behind this great sophisticated gaming console has announced that PS5 will be launched during the Holiday 2020 season. According to inside sources, there are reports which indicates that PS5 release date will be on 20th November.
Each PS5 will be fitted with a single DualSense controller which is set to also launch on the same date as the gaming console. The DualSense controller will help gamers to participate in multiplayer games. The DualSense controller is peripheral in shape and it’s a bit different from the DualShock lineup controller which is used on PS4.
Other unique features of DualSense controller include; two-tone black and white color design pattern, unique create button layout, built-in microphones, adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, vertical grips as well as light bar which will now surround the touchpad section.
All these new improved features will give gamers a whole new play station gaming experience which they have never experienced before.
In a nutshell, the PS5 that is set for release in Canada during the holiday 2020 season will have the following specifications;
- CPU:8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz
- Storage:Custom 825GB SSD
- Expandable storage:NVMe SSD slot
- Optical drive:4K Blu-ray drive
- GPU:28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz, RDNA 2 architecture
- RAM:16GB GDDR6
In addition, the PS5 SSD and 3D audio features are some of other improvements that can’t go unnoticed. The PS5 SSD is set to drastically reduce the load time to up to 5.5 GB/s which will be about 10 times faster compared to the current version of PS4. The 3D audio is also set to be dynamic so as to facilitate easier interaction between the player and the music level. The HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) has the capability to map a gamer’s hearing in relation to sound frequency, volume and direction.
Up to this date, the PS5 price has not yet been made public. However, one can be guided by the previous release price of PS4 which was $400 when it was launched. For now it’s a wait and see situation but Sony might give a hint soon on the price range as we approach the actual PS5 release date Canada.
Published By Harry Miller
2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe: Nosing Into a New Era – The Truth About Cars
BMW has dropped the curtain on its next-generation 4 Series coupe, the first member of what will become a broad family of revamped right-sized offerings.
To not mention the redesigned 4 Series’ new schnoz would be akin to staying mum on a two-ton elephant scattering canapés at a garden party, so let’s get started with that.
Spy photos, as well as a heavily foreshadowing concept coupe, told us we’d be in for a surprise when the new 4 Series debuted. Well, consider us rattled. Not since Jennifer Grey went under the knife has there been this much ink spilled about a new beak. It’s big, and it’s tall — so tall, in fact, that the lower air opening is forced to partial wrap itself around it, making for a partial grille-within-a-grille. On either side are aggressive (and large) side vents.
If BMW’s plan was to make sure the new 4 Series gets noticed, its designers certainly did their job. And it may very well be the right thing to do, given the need for any passenger car still on the market to attract the attention of buyers.
Overall, the 4 Series coupe grows in every direction. Compared to the outgoing model, the new car grows 5.2 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and boasts a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. Front and rear tracks grow 1.4 and 1.2 inches, respectively. The roofline now reaches four-tenths of an inch closer to heaven. Beneath it all, a new CLAR platform lends the model additional stiffness.
Despite the larger footprint, the 4 Series coupe slips through the air with more ease, what with a coefficient of drag lowered from .29 to .25.
Out back, L-shaped LED taillights share fascia room with slits designed to mimic (mock?) the breathable front gills. This styling flourish was more impressive before it showed up on the Toyota Camry. Of course, choosing the M Sport Package will increase the presence of mesh both front and rear.
Regardless of whether you opt for the four-cylinder 430i or six-cylinder M440i xDrive, you’re in line for more power. The base turbocharged 2.0-liter four now makes 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque, up from 248/258. The 3.0-liter turbo inline-six now sports a 48-volt mild hybrid system and an output of 382 hp and 369 lb-ft — up from 320/330.
Offered with standard rear-drive or optional xDrive all-wheel drive in 430i form, the 4 Series coupe will be joined by a convertible and gran coupe (sedan) before long, while the upcoming i4 will ditch internal combustion altogether. All 4 Series coupe models carry an updated eight-speed automatic, with M440i xDrive variants donning an M Sport rear differential for even torque distribution to the rear wheels during quick takeoffs.
As seen on the recently revealed 5 Series, the six-cylinder’s mild hybrid system will shut the engine off at 9 mph when braking to a stop. Under hard acceleration, the starter-generator can add 11 hp to the fray. Fuel economy for either engine is TBD.
Inside the cabin, drivers will be greeted by an analog gauge cluster, assuming they haven’t sprung for the 12.3-inch digital display. Found as standard fare in all 4 Series models are a healthy list driver-assist features; among them, lane departure warning with steering correction, pedestrian warning with braking function, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, rear collision preparation, and automatic high beams.
The rear seat is still a two-person affair, now with a threesome of pass-throughs for hauling large objects in the trunk.
Hitting global markets in October, the 2021 4 Series carries a U.S. base price of $45,600 (before destination) for the 430i Coupe, $47,600 for the 430i xDrive Coupe, and $58,500 for the M440i xDrive Coupe.
[Images: BMW AG]
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