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acm1lan1
(@acm1lan1)
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January 8, 2019 1:11 am  

INTEL has just revealed their new 10nm Ice lake CPUs. They also said something about thunderbolt 3 (it's one of the features promoted). 

What exactly does that mean?

Will this have any positive impact for future ultrabooks with ice lake processors with eGPUs?

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Yukikaze
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January 8, 2019 7:56 am  

According to digitaltrends, the "Ice Lake CPUs will also include integrated, native Thunderbolt 3".

Overall, this means that separate TB3 controllers will not be required, and that the connectivity to the CPU will be not be limited by the DMI link from the CPU to the PCH (which was the case for all current systems, except for a few laptops, such as the MBPs and at least one of the Alienwares that I recall - Those had the TB3 controller connected directly to the CPU).

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mac_editor
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January 8, 2019 2:27 pm  
Posted by: Yukikaze

Overall, this means that separate TB3 controllers will not be required, and that the connectivity to the CPU will be not be limited by the DMI link from the CPU to the PCH (which was the case for all current systems, except for a few laptops, such as the MBPs and at least one of the Alienwares that I recall - Those had the TB3 controller connected directly to the CPU).

Was looking for a quick explanation to what this update entailed. Thanks for the succinct explanation.

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nando4
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January 8, 2019 2:57 pm  

@Yukikaze, for U CPUs,  integrated TB3 controllers will still be sitting on the PCI bus which the CPU accesses across the DMI.  Only thing that's new in the 9th gen is it will no longer be as a separate TB3 chip.

This will mean greater proliferation of Thunderbolt 3 into budget systems given OEMs just need to do is wire it up & add some BIOS code to control it. As it is now they needed to integrate a separate TB3 controller & increase their costs which then filtered into premium notebooks.

H CPUs have a couple of direct PCIe ports that are usually used to attach dGPUs .  Intel could wire the TB3 controller directly there and reduce the DMI/PCH bottleneck. If doing that then they'd erode the existing 15" MBPs TB3 performance advantage which nearly exclusively uses that architecture now with discrete TB3 controllers.

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eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
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Yukikaze
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January 8, 2019 4:43 pm  

@nando4 - Are you sure about that for the Ice Lake U CPUs? I haven't seen a block diagram of where the controller will be located myself.

EDIT: Made clear that I mean the next gen. For the current gen, you're of course right.

This post was modified 3 months ago

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Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
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nando4
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January 8, 2019 5:02 pm  

@Yukikaze, yes, current U CPUs have PCIe ports accessed across the DMI link. There are no direct access PCIe ports. H CPUs have a couple of direct linked PCIe ports which Apple uses to attach a dGPU & TB3 controller on their 15" MBP. Can see this at:

https://egpu.io/setup-guide-external-graphics-card-mac/#cpu-vs-pch

I'd guestimate Intel will continue that architecture or maybe widen that ~x4 3.0 DMI link. That's for energy savings.  We'll query a 9th Gen U and H system to be 100% sure once they're out.

This post was modified 3 months ago

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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