Zhaoxin x86 CPU quick test: China’s reach for stars is at this level

Tram Ho

With ambition to lead the world, one of the things that Chinese people have been cooking for many years is reducing the reliance on American technology. This explains the investment of not less than 29 billion USD to conduct research on semiconductor technology. The country also plans to replace all foreign hardware and software used in state information technology infrastructure with domestic products before 2022.

Thử nghiệm nhanh CPU Zhaoxin x86: công cuộc vươn tới những vì sao của Trung Quốc đang ở mức này đây - Ảnh 1.

One of the latest advances in China’s semiconductor industry is the launch of their first commercial x86 CPU market, the result of a joint venture between the Chinese government and Via Technologies. Zhaoxin CPUs are certainly not the first CPU developed by this joint venture but this is considered the first sweet fruit from 2013 to present.

Zhaoxin KaiXian KX-U6780A is definitely a product that hardly anyone can buy outside of China in the near future. However, this CPU plays an important role in setting the first milestones, showing the remarkable progress of China’s semiconductor technology.

This 8-core CPU is the 2nd fastest processor in Zhaoxin’s product lines, carrying LuJiaZui microarchitecture, an improvement of WuDaoKou microarchitecture. According to Zhaoxin, this new CPU is the result of more than 9,000 hours of research, 200 TB of data simulating over 4,000 cores running all kinds of software. In terms of performance, all we know is only possible through leaks or marketing publications. According to Zhaoxin’s announcement, the KX-U6780A has the same performance performance as Intel Core i5-7400, which was launched in 2017. According to data from PassMark, this statement seems to be realistic. However, the single-thread performance of Chinese CPUs is still far behind. However, recently, the performance score of KX-U6780A appeared on Geekbench with single and multi-core performance points of 363 and 2091 respectively, while the corresponding numbers of i5-7400 were 884 and 2793.

Thử nghiệm nhanh CPU Zhaoxin x86: công cuộc vươn tới những vì sao của Trung Quốc đang ở mức này đây - Ảnh 2.

KaiXian KX-U6780A is manufactured by TSMC on 16nm FinFET process with clock speeds up to 2.7 GHz. TDP of this CPU is announced as 70W, approaching the 65W figure of i5-7400. Not being equipped with L3 cache as well as using the old 16nm process (Intel has used 14nm since 2015 until now), so it’s not strange that Chinese CPUs are quite inferior to Intel CPUs in terms of performance.

It sounds unconvincing, but it is still considered a big step for Zhaoxin. Though rare to find, Tom’s Hardware has got a KX-U6780A along with HX002EH1 motherboard. As a primitive CPU, the U6780A has dimensions of 35mm x 35mm, comes with a radiator that looks similar to AMD’s older stock. Of course, it’s not uncommon for this CPU to not have the usual technologies found on AMD and Intel’s excellent CPUs, such as multithreading or boost clock. Fortunately, at least it is still equipped with P-states status to customize performance via Windows. When selecting the “Best performance” mode of Windows 10, this CPU will operate at a constant 2.7 GHz clock.

Thử nghiệm nhanh CPU Zhaoxin x86: công cuộc vươn tới những vì sao của Trung Quốc đang ở mức này đây - Ảnh 3.

In terms of support protocols, KX-U6780A is equipped with 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, supporting up to 64 GB of DDR4-2666MHz RAM as well as integrated ZX-C960 graphics chip (supports DirectX 11, OpenCL 1.1, OpenGL 3.2 and is supported Optimal for encoding H.264 or HEVC files). Zhaoxin also claims that this chip can weigh two 4K screens at the same time. However, when playing Dota 2 at 720p resolution with the lowest graphics setting, this iGPU only reached 19-20 FPS, far behind the 100-120 FPS of Intel HD 630 integrated on i5-7400. A strange point is that KX-U6780A also has Specter security holes just like Intel CPUs, which Zhaoxin has to confirm that they will fix this problem with the new microarchitecture on the CPU generation after KX-7000.

Thử nghiệm nhanh CPU Zhaoxin x86: công cuộc vươn tới những vì sao của Trung Quốc đang ở mức này đây - Ảnh 4.

To talk about the IPC, it is not uncommon for the KX-U6780A to be far behind both low-cost CPUs like the i3-7100 and Ryzen 3 3200G. Due to the lack of basic features like multithreading and boost clock, the performance of KX-U6780A lags far behind the two CPUs mentioned above. Only when comparing multi-threaded performance, Zhaoxin’s CPU was able to salvage a bit thanks to twice the number of i3-7100 cores.

In terms of power consumption, when running the AIDA tests, the maximum power level that the KX-U6780A can consume is about 55W. If what Zhaoxin claims is true, the KX-7000 generation will be manufactured on the 7nm process, so the power consumption will be greatly improved.

When paired with today’s most powerful gaming graphics card, RTX 2080 Ti, KX-U6780A achieved 3DMark Fire Strike Physics score not bad, at 6871, only about 8% lower than the 7404 of i5- 7400. However, with real-world tests, such as playing games, Chinese CPUs are far behind, but the weakest dual-core CPUs in today’s market of Intel and AMD are due to their low clock speed and inferior IPC index. much.

It is also hard to underestimate Zhaoxin and KX-U6780A because the Chinese company has only jumped into the CPU market in recent years while the blue and red teams have decades of experience. Nevertheless, Zhaoxin is still working with PC assemblies such as Lenovo and HP to produce models such as the HP 268 Pro G1 MT, Windows 10 CMIT Government Edition (a version exclusively for the Chinese government) and BIOS BYOsoft. Not only that, Zhaoxin is also targeting the workstation segment as well as workstations with the KH-4000 CPU series, equipped with 32 cores, promising to compete with AMD Epyc and Intel Xeon.

Thử nghiệm nhanh CPU Zhaoxin x86: công cuộc vươn tới những vì sao của Trung Quốc đang ở mức này đây - Ảnh 5.

In another test on some Chinese technology forums, a user had the opportunity to test the KX-U6880 CPU, which is about 300 MHz higher than the KX-U6780A and got quite impressive scores. impressive, passing the i5-7400 in quite a lot of tests.

Thử nghiệm nhanh CPU Zhaoxin x86: công cuộc vươn tới những vì sao của Trung Quốc đang ở mức này đây - Ảnh 6.

Technology limitations such as clock speeds, multithreading features, and not yet optimized by the operating system and application developers will also hinder the performance of this CPU line in the next few years. However, the continuous leap forward in the process (7nm or even 5nm of TSMC for the next KX-7000 generation), this gap will soon be blurred, especially when Zhaoxin is constantly being Chinese government. pumping money to invest in technology research publicly, not blind information or conspiracy theories like Huawei’s case.

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Source : Genk