HWiNFO has released the changelog of its latest 5.7 version, and it lists several 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 they are frequently updated. The developers have early access to information on new processors, so the change logs provide a good view of future releases. We also know that, unlike many sources, the information is reliable.
The HWiNFO changelog lists preliminary support for Intel's next-generation Ice Lake processors. Ice Lake comes with the 10nm+ process and falls into the "architecture" step of Intel's cadence, meaning it will feature a new microarchitecture. We last heard of the Ice Lake processors through Intel, but given the limited information available, we assumed these were headed to the desktop first. Now Intel has updated the landing page to list Ice Lake processors as 15W U-Series and 4.5W Y-Series models (for now).
The U/Y 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.
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. Intel originally planned for Cannon Lake to be the first 10nm processors, so Ice Lake's second-generation 10nm+ process raises questions. Many analysts speculate Cannon Lake wasn't production-worthy, so it won't be productized. Time will tell if those predictions are accurate.
The HWiNFO changelog also lists preliminary support for yet another lake: Whiskey Lake. We don't know much about these notebook processors, though there have been a few rumors from 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, 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 the ratios correctly.
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 learn more about the timeline in the coming weeks.
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Paul Alcorn is the Managing Editor: News and Emerging Tech for Tom's Hardware US. He also writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage, and enterprise hardware.