HWiNFO has released the changelog of its latest 5.7 version, and it lists several exciting developments, including support for Intel's unreleased Ice Lake and Whiskey Lake processors as well as AMD's 400-Series motherboards. It also includes a new feature that shows the multi-core Turbo Boost bins for Intel's processors, which is a nice addition now that Intel no longer lists those values publicly.
HWiNFO and AIDA serve as two irreplaceable software monitoring tools on our test bench. Launch day CPU reviews can be tricky; often many software utilities, like CPU-Z and Core Temp, do not work with new processors. AIDA and HWiNFO often work with unreleased processors because the developers update them frequently. We go with whatever works. The developers have early access to information on new processors, so we watch the change logs because they provide a good view of future releases. We also know that, unlike many sources, the information is reliable.
The changelog lists preliminary support for Intel's next-generation Ice Lake processors. Most importantly, they come with the 10nm+ process. We last heard of Ice Lake through Intel, but given the limited information available, we assumed these were headed to the desktop first. Now Intel has changed the landing page to list Ice Lake processors as 15W U-Series and 4.5W Y-Series models (for now). Both series target thin-and-light mobile devices. Intel lists the Ice Lake U/Y processors as "2017 Q3 Pre-release" status, which fits in nicely with the 10nm laptop the company displayed at Computex earlier this year. We will probably hear more about the processors at CES next week. We also expect to hear more about end devices with the Pentium Gold and Silver processors.
The tick-tock cadence has expired and Intel has moved onto PAO, so now Intel uses a single "+" to denote an optimized second generation process node and "++" for the third generation of a process node. Coffee Lake processors, for instance, are on the 14nm++ process.
Ice Lake's 10nm+ process begs the question -- where is Cannon Lake, the first generation of 10nm? Many analysts speculate that it wasn't production-worthy, so it won't be productized. Time will tell if those predictions hold water. It's even possible that Ice Lake will use EMIB for some portions of the package, but that is speculation.
The HWiNFO changelog also lists preliminary support for yet another lake: Whiskey Lake. We don't know much about these processors, though there have been a few rumors from completely unreliable sources. As such, we'll have to wait for more information.
HWiNFO also added support for AMD's 400-Series chipset that popped up in the PCI-SIG Integrators List last week. These chipsets add PCIe 3.0 functionality to AMD's Promontory platform. We expect those chipsets to appear with AMD's 12nm LP Pinnacle Ridge refresh that should come out early next year.
Finally, the changelog says the utility "Added reporting of CPU per-core turbo ratios (IA/SSE, AVX2, AVX-512) for Intel." This is important because Intel stopped listing multi-core turbo ratios with its Coffee Lake processors. This tactic breaks with the company's long-standing practice of listing the various turbo ratios that kick in based on the number of active cores. Intel has never guaranteed that its processors will reach the multi-core Turbo Boost bins, but it was nice to have them listed in the specifications.
We have access to Intel's internal tools (and not from Intel), such as its PTU (Power/Temperature Utility), that list the Turbo ratios. We then share the ratios in our reviews. However, normal users do not have access to those tools, so it's a nice addition to HWiNFO. We loaded up the latest version and pulled a screenshot of the turbo ratios with the Core i7-7980XE (above). The utility lists AVX2 and AVX-512 ratios correctly, but it only lists a 40x ratio for IA/SSE, so it might need some tuning for this processor.
It should be an interesting CES, particularly if Intel outs new 10nm processors in any form. Most speculate that Intel's 10nm(+) products have slipped to late next year, but we should know the answer in the coming weeks.