Many readers consider AMD to be the Intel x86-incompatible processor today, but there is one more. China-Shanghai Zhaoxin Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Zhaoxin).
Zhaoxin is a semiconductor manufacturer jointly funded by Taiwan VIA Technology and the Shanghai Municipal Government. It is developed by Centaur Technology, a subsidiary of Taiwan VIA Technology.
“Yes,” said Centaur Technology, which was acquired by Intel in 2021, leaving only the IP in Taiwan’s VIA Technology. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that Zhaoxin has inherited the pipeline of x86-compatible processors such as “C3”, “C7”, “Nano”, and “Eden”.
In Zhaoxin, the “ZX-C”, “ZX-C+”, “KX-5000” and “KX-6000” launched this time have been released. The “KX-6000” itself was released in 2019, which means more than two years have passed at the time of writing, and the next-generation “KX-7000” has yet to be seen.
“KX-5000” to “KX-6000” are just shrinking from TSMC’s 28nm process to 16nm process, but the next-generation “KX-7000” is expected to undergo major changes.
According to the company, the “KX-6000” targets the same system performance as a 7th Gen Core i5.
In addition, the code name of the company’s x86-compatible processor is the name of the Shanghai subway station, and the latest “KX-6000” is Lujiazui (Lujiazui).
Kaixian KX-U6780A motherboard has arrived
“KX-6000” is a BGA package in which the CPU is directly connected to the motherboard. Therefore, the CPU and motherboard need to be aligned as a group.
The motherboard that I got this time seems to be the motherboard and CPU of the so-called ordinary desktop computer “XSD30” of Shanghai Donghai Satoshi Communication Technology Co., Ltd.
The form factor is the size of a microATX and looks like a modern motherboard except the CPU power supply is 4-pin, RGB and serial (RS-232C).
The ZX-200 appears to be mounted as a south bridge under the heatsink on the motherboard.
In terms of CPU, it is a model equipped with the “Kaixian KX-U6780A”, the second highest performance in the “KX-6000” series. With 8 cores and 8 threads, it can be said to be the best model to test the performance of a trillion-core CPU. I originally wanted to buy the top model “KX-U6880A”, but I haven’t seen it in circulation yet.
UEFI uses Byosoft ByoCore BIOS.
Without the funky GUI, it’s like an old-fashioned BIOS.
Introducing Windows 10
KaiXian KX-U6780A cannot be installed because it is not supported by Windows 11. So this time I introduced Windows 10.
The display on CPU-Z looks like this.
Except for the graphics driver, the operating system standard drivers work fine. The driver disk is not attached this time, but it can be downloaded from the Zhaoxin website.
However, there is no installer and you need to manually replace the standard display driver from Device Manager. The graphics built into the KaiXian KX-U6780A are called the ZX 960 GPU, but they appear to be based on the S3 Graphics IP as far as the driver’s filename convention is concerned.
According to Zhaoxin, the target is the same system as the 7th generation Core i5, so the environment prepared for the comparison machine is as close as possible to the 8th generation Core i3.
In terms of operating system, Kaixian KX-U6780A is a CPU that is not included in the Windows 11 support list and cannot be installed, so Windows 10 is used this time.
Also, some benchmarks don’t apply to the ZX 960 GPU with the built-in GPU of the KX-U6780A, so in this case, we used a GeForce RTX 2070 Super for testing.
For components other than the motherboard, we selected components that would not be the bottleneck. However, in terms of memory, since the XSD30 does not support XMP2.0, the DDR4-2133 of SPD is used this time.
|CPU||Zhaoxin Kaixian KX-U6780A 2.7GHz (8 cores and 8 threads)||Intel Core i3-8100 3.60GHz (4 cores 4 threads)|
|motherboard||XSD30||ASUS PRIME H370M-PLUS|
|memory||DDR4-2133 32GB×2(Corsair CMK64GX4M2E3200C16/SPD action)|
|SSD||CFD Sale CSSD-M2M1TPG4VNZ 1TB (NVMe SSD)|
|GPU1||ZX 960 graphics card||Ultra HD Graphics 630|
|Graphics driver||KX-6000 Win10 64-bit Universal Driver (10.17.19.0034-37.00.34)||Intel UHD Graphics 630 Driver (18.104.22.1684)|
|GPU2||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Ultra|
|Graphics driver||Game Ready Driver 511.79|
|power supply||Thermaltake Toughpower iRGB PLUS 1050W PLATINUM (1,050W/80PLUS Platinum)|
|you||Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 21H2|
Movie Station R23
CINEBENCH benchmarks 3DCG rendering on the CPU. Testing was performed with the latest version, R23.
In the single-core test, the performance of the KX-U6780A is about 33% of that of the Core i3-8100. On the other hand, in terms of multi-core, the number of cores and threads is twice that of the Kaixian KX-U6780A, which is reduced to about 67%.
By the way, the power consumption of the entire system when running CINEBENCH R23 is 88W for Kaixian KX-U6780A and 66W for Core i3-8100.
3DMark -CPU Profile Test-
Passed 3DMark’s “CPU PROFILE TEST” test. Content that benchmarks each CPU thread used.
Also, since this benchmark could not be launched with the ZX 960 GPU of the Kaixian KX-U6780A, it was measured with a GeForce RTX 2070 Super installed in both environments.
The KX-U6780A’s performance is about 14% better than the Core i3-8100’s performance on benchmarks of 1 to 4 threads, but for more 8 to 16 threads, the difference has narrowed to about 27%.
Tested using 3DMark’s DirectX 12 benchmark “Time Spy” and DirectX 11 benchmark “Fire Strike”.
Since the ZX 960 GPU of the KX-U6780A cannot be turned on, the measurement is performed after installing the GeForce RTX 2070 Super in both environments.
We’ll see how much performance we can bring with the graphics card installed.
About Time Spy The KaiXian KX-U6780A is about 76% the Core i3-8100, and Fire Strike is about 54%. Compared to CPU-based benchmarks, the difference is narrowing, but it’s still not on the same line.
3DMark -PCI EXPRESS Functional Test-
We ran a test to benchmark the bandwidth of 3DMark’s PCI Express.
Since Kaixian KX-U6780A and GeForce RTX 2070 Super are connected via PCI Express 3.0 x8, theoretically it is about 63% of 7.88GB/s, which is 5.03GB/s.
On the other hand, since the Core i3-8100 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super are connected via PCI Express 3.0 x16, it’s 12.11GB/s, which is theoretically around 77% of 15.76GB/s.
Final Fantasy XIV: Akatsuki’s Ending Benchmark
Based on the popular game Final Fantasy XIV.
Since the ZX 960 GPU of the KX-U6780A cannot be turned on, the measurement is performed after installing the GeForce RTX 2070 Super in both environments. The resolution is Full HD.
The high-quality Kaixian KX-U6780A is about 45% of the Core i3-8100, and the SD is 43%, there is a clear difference between the two. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t play because it’s judged to be “slightly comfortable”.
Vanadir bench 3
Sure enough, I feel that I don’t know the performance of the ZX 960 GPU of the KX-U6780A is very bad. The option that falls to boot is Vana’diel Bench 3 Final Fantasy XI. The benchmark was published in December 2004, and it has been more than 16 years since it was written. The old injury of the author who had NM at the time was painful.
At HIGH, the KX-U6780A is about 43% of the Core i3-8100, and about 47% at LOW. Although HIGH has a resolution of 1,024×768 dots, it is still a “Tsuyo PC” in this environment.
PCMark 10 Express Edition
Then it becomes the PCMark 10 score. PCMark 10 has Express, MUJI and Extended benchmarks to choose from, but taking the ZX 960 GPU environment of Kaixian KX-U6780A as an example, only Express can be completed, so this time we used PCMark 10 for benchmark Express, with the least test.
We tested it against CrystalDiskMark as a benchmark to see how fast NVMe SSDs can be.
This time, both environments will support up to PCI Express 3.0, but the SSD is using the PCI Express 4.0 generation CSSD-M2M1TPG4VNZ, which uses the PHISON PS5018-E18 controller.
It’s great for sequential matches, but it’s very different from the Core i3-8100’s random matches.
VLC media player
The ZX 960 GPU has video playback support. This time, when I played a 4K/60 fps video file (HEVC) shot with the iPhone 13 mini, there was no increase in CPU usage and was able to play without dropping frames. The ZX 960 GPU doesn’t seem like a good thing so far, but it seems it’s finally here. But the Core i3-8100’s UHD Graphics 630 also has support for playback, so it looks like a draw.
As a trillion core, it is aimed at a system equivalent to the 7th-generation Core i5, but in terms of running points, it is completely defeated by the 8th-generation Core i3. To be honest, I think the 7th generation Core i5 is also very tough.
The next-generation KX-7000 series expects a reversal of Intel and AMD CPUs.
Still, CPUs from the VIA (Centaur Technology) trend that were popular in the heyday of home servers are still being released, which is a good thing for PC enthusiasts. Of course, considering the location of Zhaoxin, it is foreseeable that it will be difficult to obtain in the future.