Leak Points to Intel Comet Lake Desktops Arriving in 2020: 10 Cores, New Socket


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We’ve heard for a while that Intel might respond to AMD’s 7nm onslaught with higher core counts on desktop processors. A new leak suggests that’s exactly what the company will do, with a new chipset supporting up to 10-core CPUs built on the company’s mature 14nm process. This will supposedly require a new CPU socket, as Intel is increasing the power delivery and capability of its desktop motherboards to compensate for the higher power requirements in a 10-core chip.

The new socket is supposedly LGA 1200 and the top-end chips will offer 10C/20T configurations if rumors are to be believed. TDP is also finally rising, up to 125W. This last is something of an interesting point. Intel CPU power consumption currently has little relation to TDP if you allow the CPU to boost; TDP is measured at base clock, not boost clock. Intel may need to expand TDP to deal with adding more CPU cores, but in the past, it has kept its CPUsSEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce in the same TDP brackets by cutting base clock.

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Image by XFastest

Our guess is that Intel is raising TDP because it doesn’t want to do this again. Cutting its base clocks further to remain within the old 95W TDP bracket with 10 cores instead of eight is probably possible, but runs the risk of creating negative comparisons against previous generation parts or AMD hardware. Intel reduced base clock speed when it moved from the Core i7-8700K to the Core i9-9900K — the 9900K has a base clock of 3.6GHz, while the 8700K is 3.7GHz. The old 7700K had a base clock of 4.2GHz, though obviously vastly inferior performance overall.

The relatively low base clock may not have been much of a concern when AMD’s own Ryzen 7 base clocks were also in the 3.6 – 3.7GHz range, but AMD adjusted its own clock ranges slightly for 7nm. The 3700X has a base clock of 3.7GHz, while the Ryzen 3800X is 3.9GHz base and the 3900X is a 3.8GHz chip. Intel may want to bring clocks up slightly to make certain it matches on base, and the only way to do that is to nudge the TDP higher.

Image by XFastest

Supposedly the new 400-series adds another 49 pins to hit LGA1200, with the extra pins used for power delivery. There would be a few new features, like integrated 802.11ax support and presumably an easier method of integrating Thunderbolt 3, similar to what we’ve seen in mobile. 65W and 35W CPUs would still be supported (and released) on this latest 14nm revision, it’s just the enthusiast TDP bracket that would stretch up to 125W. Intel would likely try to keep the boost clock as high as possible, but I don’t want to speculate on what that will be.

Catching AMD Wouldn’t Be the Goal

Anyone who has paid attention to relative standings between AMD and Intel has already realized that a 10-core Comet Lake isn’t going to match AMD in most performance areas. The 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X is on its way, and we’ve already seen what happens when a 10-core Intel HEDT CPU takes on a 16-core AMD Threadripper: The 10-core CPU loses. Mostly, it loses by a lot.

But while this might sound faintly absurd, beating AMD in absolute multi-core performance probably isn’t the goal here. Both companies are working towards their respective strengths: For AMD, that means emphasizing multi-core while working to improve single-core, where Intel still holds a narrow advantage in some games at 1080p. For Intel, that means attempting to improve single-core while competing more effectively in multi-core. Bumping up to 10 cores and raising base clock via TDP increase probably helps the company achieve that. It’s going to take more than +2 cores to put Intel seriously back in the multi-threading game, and the company knows that.

The rumors of a 10-core Comet Lake are strong enough and have been running around for long enough that I think they’re pretty solid. We suspect this generation will see the return of Hyper-Threading as well to boost Intel’s competitive standing against AMD at lower price brackets. Without any price information, we obviously can’t opine on how the two companies will stack up, but Intel has a history of introducing better price/performance ratios at major product launches. This suggests we’ll see the company adjust its core count/dollar strategy at the next major launch.

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Latest Pixel 4 Leak Points to 90Hz Display, 6GB of RAM


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Samsung just announced its newest flagship phone, but if that’s not your speed, the Pixel 4 leaks are still flowing. A new report includes information about the basic specs like RAM and battery capacity, but we’re also learning some tantalizing details about the displays. 

Google’s Pixel 4 and 4 XL will be almost identical devices, more like the first-generation Pixels than the second and third iterations. The Pixel 4 will have a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED, and the Pixel 4 XL will have a 6.3-inch 1440p OLED. That’s all similar to the third-gen Pixel phones, but the report also claims Google is bumping the refresh rate. 9to5Google claims the phones will have a feature called “Smooth Display” that shows more frames per second than most devices. 

Smooth Display may offer a 90Hz refresh rate, the same as the OnePlus 7 Pro. That would make the Pixel 4 and 4 XL feel much more fluid than past devices. Google has always prioritized animation smoothness on Pixel phones, so the 90Hz display could really wow people. 

The leak also clarifies the camera situation. The main sensor will still be 12MP, and the secondary shooter will be 16MP with a telephoto lens. Google may also be working on a “DSLR-like” attachment that may launch as an accessory. It’s unclear what that may entail. 

Google caught flak last year for sticking with 4GB of RAM on both Pixel phones. Higher memory usage in apps like the camera could kill background processes and slow the phones down. This year, it’s reportedly increasing RAM to 6GB in both phones. However, the smaller Pixel 4 will have a slight drop in battery capacity. It’ll be 2,800mAh, down from 2,915mAh. The larger phone gets an increase from 3,430mAh last year to 3,700mAh this year. As expected, the phones will have the Snapdragon 855 and either 64 or 128GB of storage. 

Lastly, 9to5Google says it has confirmed the Pixels will have stereo speakers in spite of the obvious design changes. The last few Pixels have had dual front-facing speakers, but the small bottom bezel on the Pixel 4 doesn’t leave room for one. Instead, we’ll have one speaker at the top that doubles for the earpiece, and a second speaker on the bottom edge. That’s the same configuration Samsung currently uses. 

We expect Google to unveil the Pixel 4 and 4 XL at its annual hardware event in October. So, there’s still plenty of time for more leaks.

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Security lapse exposed weak points on Honda’s internal network – gpgmail


An exposed database at automotive giant Honda allowed anyone to see which systems on its network were vulnerable to unpatched security flaws, potentially giving hackers insider knowledge of the company’s weak points.

The server contained 134 million rows of employee systems data from the company’s endpoint security service, containing technical details of each computer and device connected to the internal network.

There was no password on the database, allowing anyone to access and read the data.

The data included which operating system a user was running, its unique network identifiers and IP address, the status of the endpoint protection, and which patches were installed. That could allow an attacker to figure out which systems are at risk of certain vulnerabilities, or tailor attacks towards machines of interest using exploits known to target vulnerable devices. (We’re not naming the endpoint provider as it could prove useful for an attacker.)

In some cases the database would reveal the endpoint security status — including if a device was unprotected.

Security researcher Justin Paine found the exposed database earlier this month. He wrote up his findings and shared them exclusively with gpgmail. The database was shut down hours after he made contact with the company.

“I thought this was a likely to be just a single Honda dealership,” Paine told gpgmail. “The odds of that seemed far more likely than a database containing information related to all of Honda’s global network of employee machines.”

The database contained records on multiple Honda offices around the world, including Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S., said Paine.

He also found the chief executive’s computer in the logs, including which operating system he uses, the patches installed, and more. The records also included his email address and the last time he logged on.

“What makes this data particularly dangerous in the hands of an attacker is that it shows you exactly where the soft spots are,” said Paine. “This data contained enough identifiable information to make it extremely simple to locate specific high value employees and in the hands of an attacker this leaked data could be used to silently monitor for ways to launch very targeted attacks on those executives,” he said.

When reached prior to publication, Honda spokesperson Marcos Frommer did not comment.

It’s the latest find by Paine in recent months. Earlier this year he found a huge database of call logs and SMS messages exposed on the internet, and also the viewing habits of a library and university streaming service.

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