Zhaoxin, based in Shanghai, has its domestically produced KX-6000-series processors ready for prime time. The x86 chips are already listed on Chinese e-commerce website Taobao and are scheduled to launch as soon as March of this year.
The KaiXian KX-U6780A is based on the LuJiaZui microarchitecture. It's rated with a 70W TDP (thermal design power) and sports eight cores (opens in new tab) and eight threads (opens in new tab)clocked at 2.7 GHz. The processor has 8MB of L2 cache (opens in new tab) but lacks L3 cache. TSMC produces the KX-U6780A for Zhaoxin with the foundry's 16nm process node.
Like your typical mainstream processor, the KX-U6780A has a dual-channel memory controller. The chip supports DirectX 11 graphics, modern interfaces, such as M.2, PCIe 3.0 (opens in new tab), SATA and USB 3.1, and instruction sets including SSE 4.2 and AVX.
The KX-U6780A comes wrapped in BGA packaging, but, thankfully, Shenzhen Cjoyin Electronics has developed the C1888 mini-ITX motherboard for the eight-core processor.
KaiXian KX-U6780A + C1888 Combo
Chinese YouTube channel 二斤自制 (opens in new tab) got its hands on the KX-U6780A and C1888 combo. The C1888 in the video is an engineering sample, so the final specifications will differ a bit.
The C1888 motherboard currently features an old-school green PCB, but will also be available in white after its official release. Additionally, the manufacturer plans to add a power button and standardize the motherboard holes for mainstream CPU coolers (opens in new tab).
The C1888 features two DDR4 SO-DIMMs that support DDR4-3200 RAM (opens in new tab). It also provides an mSATA and SATA port for storage.
Motherboard-maker Shenzhen Cjoyin claims that the C1888 supports the NVMe protocol and that it will add an M.2 slot to the finished product to accommodate high-speed SSDs (opens in new tab).
The C1888 comes with an Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) and two COM interfaces. There's also a slot for a PCIe wireless network card. Similar to other mini-ITX motherboards, the C1888 only has one PCIe 3.0 expansion slot. Unfortunately, it's wired to operate at x8.
Connectivity options on the C1888 include one front USB 2.0 header, one HDMI port, one VGA port, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and three 3.5mm audio jacks.
According to the video, the KX-U6780A and C1888's maximum power consumption amounts to 90W. The motherboard (opens in new tab) draws power through a DC power connector and 4-pin power connector. However, the final product will drop the 4-pin power connector in favor of the standard 24-pin. The motherboard will retain the DC power connector for the convenience of small form factor (SFF) users.
KaiXian KX-U6780A Benchmarks
In order to measure the progress of China's domestic processors, the KX-U6780A is pitched against the previous KX-C4580. As a recap, the KX-U6780A has eight cores and eight threads running at 2.7 GHz, while the KX-C4580 only has four cores and four threads at 1.83 GHz.
Thanks to its four additional cores and higher clock speeds, the KX-U6780A showed some big performance improvements over the KX-C4580. In the multi-thread benchmarks, the eight-core chip outperformed the quad-core part by over 200%. In terms of single-core improvement, the KX-U6780A is up to 171% faster.
|CPU-Z Single Thread||63.1||171||171%|
|CPU-Z Multi Thread||445.6||1395.8||213%|
|Fritz Chess Benchmark||2933||9919||238%|
Based on these results, the KX-U6780A should be slower than an Intel Core i5-7600K (opens in new tab). Intel's quad-core chip delivers up to 180% and 32% higher performance than the KX-U6780A on the single-and multi-thread tests with the CPU-Z benchmark, respectively.
The current generation of Zhaoxin chips are still admittedly behind the likes of Intel and AMD. Nevertheless, the Chinese chipmaker has ambitious plans to catch up to its rivals (opens in new tab) by 2021.
The tech YouTube channel also paired the KX-U6780A with an aftermarket RTX 2060 Super (opens in new tab) graphics card for a couple of gaming tests.
It should be emphasized that the test system is running on an engineering sample of the C1888 motherboard. As a result, the processor and graphics card usage are somewhat low because the motherboard limits the power of the PCIe 3.0 slot. The manufacturer will remove the restriction for the final product so that the graphics card will have more room to maximize its potential.
In any case, the results showed the KX-U6780A working with the RTX 2060 Super capable of maintaining 60 frames per second (fps) and above in the games tested. However, we would love to see how the couple holds up in the more processor-intensive games.
|Chinese Parents||?||60 fps|
|Risk of Rain 2||?||60 fps|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive||20 fps (720p)||60 fps (1080p)|
The final pricing for the KX-U6780A with the C1888 motherboard is unknown. The bundle is currently up for pre-order for 4,300 yuan ( ~$620) Taobao (opens in new tab), and it's limited to 55 units.