News China-Made Zhaoxin CPU Hits Retail Market

I would love to see a comparison vs AMD's FX line.
Well, checking some numbers online, it looks like 2012's 8-thread FX-8350 at stock clocks typically scores close to 1300 at Cinebench R20 multi-core, and around 1500 overclocked, compared to 845 for this processor, making that older FX chip around 50% faster at stock. The margins in CPU-Z's single-thread test look similar. The FX processor is also clocked around 50% higher though, so that difference may be mostly down to clock-rates rather than IPC.

As for current parts, it looks like AMD's 4-core, 8-thread 3400G Zen+ APU scores close to 2000 at Cinebench R20 multicore, with a similar difference in CPU-Z single core, making it close to 150% faster. Of course, there's also the 6-core, 12-thread 1600 AF (basically a slightly underclocked 2600) available in the US market for just $85 now, which scores over 2800 in R20 multicore. And the Zen2-based 3600 scores around 3700 points in that test, well over four times as fast at that multithreaded workload, and around 500 in CPU-Z single-threaded, around three times as fast.
 
Reactions: artk2219

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Hmm, even though this is a Chinese CPU, it probably has fewer security vulnerabilities than Intel at this point.
It is highly unlikely that AMD's CPUs are exempt of any such flaw, the question is whether they will be discovered within the architecture's useful life if ever. Intel's biggest problem here is that it has been reusing mostly the same architecture for nearly 10 years, so most flaws have a pretty good probability of affecting a large chunk of all of Intel's CPUs from the past decade. That's a ridiculously large attack surface area on chips that account for ~80% of the market for hackers to work and cash in on.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador
It is highly unlikely that AMD's CPUs are exempt of any such flaw,
Leaving aside your claim, why are you even talking about AMD?

This is made in partnership with VIA, meaning it uses Centaur's x86 cores. Nothing to do with AMD.

Edit: I'm not sure about the Centaur part, as Anandtech and WikiChip both describe its LuJiaZui cores as an in-house design. Wikichip says of its predecessor:

WuDaoKou is largely a brand new architecture designed by Zhaoxin. This is a departure from earlier microarchitectures such as ZhangJiang which were a lightly modified version of VIA Technologies (Centaur) architecture.

So, it sounds like the previous & current core designs might be truly 100% Chinese designs.
 
Last edited:

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Leaving aside your claim, why are you even talking about AMD?

This is made in partnership with VIA, meaning it uses Centaur's x86 cores. Nothing to do with AMD.
My comment was regarding the Intel part of the comment I was replying to, though it is generally pretty safe to assume that any highly complex chip is going to have some number of bugs that manage to sneak by engineers, especially when they involve side-channel type exposure which can be extremely difficult to foresee at the design stage.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador
Do we know anything about its iGPU?

Edit: Wikichip mentions S3, since I guess VIA bought its IP. If it has anything to do with S3, it's probably unrelated to their graphics chipsets from the old days. Anyway, it seems the graphics are on-die.

This is actually the entry from its predecessor: https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/zhaoxin/microarchitectures/wudaokou

Edit 2: It's rumored to be the VIA C-960, which is derived from S3's Chrome series.
 
Last edited:

mpdugas

Distinguished
Dec 15, 2008
34
0
18,530
0
While technically true, one can be almost completely certain that it also has additional Chinese Government Back-Door vulnerabilities. Like 99 out of 100 chances.

Just saying,
GoatGuy
I can live the rest of my days in peace, not knowingly buying anything Chinese. Much less anything electronic or internet related.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
Hmm, even though this is a Chinese CPU, it probably has fewer security vulnerabilities than Intel at this point.
I doubt it. Especially since its probably a Chinese government owned company which would absolutely have multiple ways to spy on them. Remember its the same government that started a "social score".

I find it interesting though that they state its 100% Chinese made although the fabricator is from Taiwan. However to China Taiwan is still part of China.

And the price is pretty bad, at least if that price translated over here to USD the same. For $620 you can get a much better Ryzen chip, much better board and probably a mid range GPU.
 

artk2219

Distinguished
Jun 30, 2010
461
37
18,890
30
Well, checking some numbers online, it looks like 2012's 8-thread FX-8350 at stock clocks typically scores close to 1300 at Cinebench R20 multi-core, and around 1500 overclocked, compared to 845 for this processor, making that older FX chip around 50% faster at stock. The margins in CPU-Z's single-thread test look similar. The FX processor is also clocked around 50% higher though, so that difference may be mostly down to clock-rates rather than IPC.

As for current parts, it looks like AMD's 4-core, 8-thread 3400G Zen+ APU scores close to 2000 at Cinebench R20 multicore, with a similar difference in CPU-Z single core, making it close to 150% faster. Of course, there's also the 6-core, 12-thread 1600 AF (basically a slightly underclocked 2600) available in the US market for just $85 now, which scores over 2800 in R20 multicore. And the Zen2-based 3600 scores around 3700 points in that test, well over four times as fast at that multithreaded workload, and around 500 in CPU-Z single-threaded, around three times as fast.
You gotta start somewhere and for a mostly hombrew effort on China's part these should make some decent enough web surfing chips. They just make me think of them as chinese bulldozer chips is all.
 

scodd

Distinguished
Mar 2, 2011
37
5
18,545
1
A vga port and 3(three) 3.5mm audio jacks? I am surprised it doesn't have a 9 pin and PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. What is the deal with 3 audio jacks? QSound? No, that doesn't make sense. What about a token-ring port? Haha.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
A vga port and 3(three) 3.5mm audio jacks? I am surprised it doesn't have a 9 pin and PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. What is the deal with 3 audio jacks? QSound? No, that doesn't make sense. What about a token-ring port? Haha.
3 ports is standard audio. You have Mic in (pink), Audio in (blue) and Audio out (green. Most every board has those three standard, a lot use gold plating though.

And no 9 pin but a lot of boards still have PS/2 ports. Even some higher end ones seem to.
 
Reactions: bit_user

Chung Leong

Prominent
Dec 6, 2019
311
88
760
0
A vga port and 3(three) 3.5mm audio jacks? I am surprised it doesn't have a 9 pin and PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. What is the deal with 3 audio jacks? QSound? No, that doesn't make sense. What about a token-ring port? Haha.
It's not unusual to see a VGA connector on server motherboards. Largely to accommodate existing KVM switches, I think. PS/2 ports are common too, probably for the same reason.
 
Reactions: bit_user

scodd

Distinguished
Mar 2, 2011
37
5
18,545
1
It's not unusual to see a VGA connector on server motherboards. Largely to accommodate existing KVM switches, I think. PS/2 ports are common too, probably for the same reason.
Are these going to be marketed as servers to replace aging xeons running server 2003/08? I know some folks still want PS/2 port latency or some such, but are they professional gaming motherboards?
 

scodd

Distinguished
Mar 2, 2011
37
5
18,545
1
3 ports is standard audio. You have Mic in (pink), Audio in (blue) and Audio out (green. Most every board has those three standard, a lot use gold plating though.

And no 9 pin but a lot of boards still have PS/2 ports. Even some higher end ones seem to.
Yeah, I forgot all about analog with a built in sound card. It's been a while since I used them. I still don't get PS/2 ports except maybe on a top end gaming rig, but I haven't used them in 20 years or so.
 
Intel's removal of EHCI from their 6th Gen PCH makes PS/2 essential for OS installs that don't natively support the newer XHCI. Having a PS/2 connector may be viewed as an added expense on a lot of motherboards, but I suspect it costs less than the returns a company might see from the average user who can't install Windows 7 or another OS due to lack of immediate peripheral support, and the lack of knowledge to shoe-horn drivers into the installation package.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador
An obvious market for Zhaoxin is countries under US sanctions like Iran.
Not only that, but I'd imagine China will sell a lot of these & future generations in developing countries. I mean, once the price settles down, of course.

I'm not really worried about that, as long as it's a standard ISA (i.e. x86, ARM, RISC V, MIPS, or POWER). It's when they start pushing proprietary tech that differs from Western standards that we'll really start to see a polarization of the tech world.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
I'm not really worried about that, as long as it's a standard ISA (i.e. x86, ARM, RISC V, MIPS, or POWER). It's when they start pushing proprietary tech that differs from Western standards that we'll really start to see a polarization of the tech world.
With more software going cross-platform portable every year as re-compilers get increasingly close to native code, it may only be a matter of time before architecture becomes irrelevant to anything beyond performance-critical tasks.

Also, most modern languages designed for portable software have some degree of built-in multi-threaded awareness and automation that reduces the burden on programmers in an increasingly thread-rich hardware environment.

I don't mind different ISAs as long as there are clear technical advantages to them and they come with decent (preferably FOSS) development tool chains.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS