If you're wanting to jump on the 6-core bandwagon without spending upwards of $1,000, the wait is almost over, folks. Next Tuesday, April 27, AMD is scheduled to release its Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition clocked at 3.2GHz, as well as a handful of other six-core processors.
AMD might have wanted to wait a little longer, but a few retailers outside of the U.S. have already listed the chips for sale, so there wouldn't be much point in holding out much longer. And the time is ripe to go up against Intel anyway, whose only six-core chip is the ultra-pricey Core i7 980X.
Look for AMD to come out swinging with at least four different six-core CPUs next Tuesday, some of which are expected to debut with a 95W TDP. The slowest of these will come clocked at 2.6GHz.
Anyone planning on picking one of these up next week? How much would you be willing to spend on a six-core processor? Are we at a point where we need six cores of processing power? Hit the jump and sound off!
In a couple of weeks, AMD will launch its six-core Phenom II X6 processors and go head-to-head with Intel's sole six-core part, the Core i7 980X. If early overclocking results are any indication, AMD will be putting up a fight.
An overclocker who goes by the name Luca managed to get his hands on an AMD T1090 Black Edition chip and nearly doubled the clockspeed. The part runs 3.2GHz at stock, but with some liquid nitrogen, an ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard, and just 1GB of Kingston RAM, Luca managed to push the processor all the way to 6.29GHz.
Not for the faint of heart, it looks as though Luca had to the juice the CPU to 1.928V, a significant jump over the stock 1.32V setting. Yikes!
Intel isn't the only one getting jiggy with six-core desktop chips, AMD's planning a six-core party of its own. One motherboard maker who won't be showing up fashionably late is Asus, who this week announced a full range of mobos ready to support the upcoming Phenom II X6 parts.
"Besides being ready to support six-core processors, the Asus M4 Series gives users of every level the best performance and value with tis Core Unlocker feature," said Joe Hsieh, General Manger of Asus Motherboard Business. "This has received notable recognition from many of the world's top media organizations for deliver a phenomenal boost in performance."
There are several M4-based boards representing a variety of chipsets ready to support the 6-core parts, all of which will require a BIOS update. If you're planning to upgrade, be sure to check out which BIOS version you need (see list here) and get to flashing!
Digital Storm may have just built the baddest workstation on the block, or at least in the home consumer market. Tapping into Intel's latest and greatest, Digital Storm's new DAVINCI workstation crunches workloads with Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition chip doing much of the heavy lifting.
Helping it go is an Nvidia PNY Quadro FX 1800 graphics card with 768MB of dedicated RAM. Other baseline specs include 12GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard, a 1000W power supply, and Windows 7 Professional.
"The philosophy behind DAVINCI is simple: engineer a workstation that completely maximizes application performance so that creative professionals can accelerate their productivity," commented Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm’s Director of Product Development. "Thanks to NVIDIA’s and Intel’s most powerful components to date, our DAVINCI workstations will be fully optimized for the forthcoming release of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5."
Digital Storm says it subjects each DAVINCI system to a rigorous 72-hour stress test prior to shipping. Should something break anyway, the rigs come backed with a 4-year warranty.
As equipped above, pricing starts at $4,995, which represents the company's mid-range (Professional) DAVINCI. There's also a Performance model that starts out at $2,952 (Intel Core i7 930, Quadro FX 580, 750W PSU) and an Enthusiast model that runs $5,778 (dual Intel Xeon E5530 chips, Intel Workstation board, Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 graphics, 1000W PSU).
Right now all the talk is on Intel's 6-core Gulftown chip, and rightfully so (see here for our in-depth evaluation). But in a little over a month, AMD will dish out its own 6-core desktop lineup dubbed Phenom II X6. AMD hasn't offered up a lot of details on its upcoming chips, but that's okay, because some key info may have been inadvertently leaked to the Web.
According to Tech Connect, Gigabyte released a handful of BIOS updates that reveal what clocks AMD's chips will run at. There will be four chips to begin with, including the Phenom II X6 1035T, 1055T (in both 95W and 125W TDP flavors), and the 1075T. As it's been leaked to th Web, the 1035T will come clocked at 2.6GHz, while the 1055T will kick things up a notch to 2.8GHz.
On the higher end, the fastest clocked hexacore -- the 1075T -- will sport a 3.0Ghz clockspeed, which is 333MHz slower (in clockspeed) than Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition part.
Stay tuned, as these are subject to change, and we still don't have any pricing info.
Boutique system builders have been all over Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition chip ever since it officially launched, and that includes iBuyPower, who just announced four new "high overclockable" Paladin systems rocking the 6-core part.
"Gamers looking to get the most out of their new six core systems can take advantage of the iBuyPower Labs' Power Drive Overclocking Service, which overclocks th CPU by as much as 30 percent and comes standard on the Paladin XLC V3," iBuyPower said in a statement. "Other innovative iBuyPower exclusive products and services include the Harmony Sound Reduction System, the Internal USB Expansion System, and iBuyPower's Specialized Advanced packaging System with Expanding foam inserts to prevent damage during shipping."
Surprisingly affordable, pricing on the refreshed Paladins starts at $2,159 (Paladin F890), which is the lowest we've seen for a system that includes Intel's 6-core chip. Other baseline specs include Cooler Master's HAF 922 chassis, Asetek self-contained liquid cooler, 6GB of DDR3-1333, ATI Radeon 5830, Asus P6T motherboard, 1TB hard drive, 22X DVD burner, Windows Home 7 Premium, and a 700W power supply. For a couple hundred bucks, you could upgrade to an HD 5870 videocard and end up with a pretty monstrous system for under $2,500.
Digital Storm becomes the latest boutique OEM to dance with Intel's 6-core Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor. It's available in the company's high-end Black|OPS machine, which starts off at $5,642.
"The introduction of a six-core processor hyper threading capabilities is a momentous occasion for gaming enthusiasts," remarked Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "With our TwisterBoost overclocking package, we can overclock the i7-980X to a record breaking 4.4GHz. The results we've recorded on our test bench have been nothing short of astounding. I can honestly say that our Black OPS machines with this new CPU resulted in the most impressive gaming experience I've ever had."
So what else do you get for that kind of hefty investment? The other baseline specs include a 500GB hard drive with 16MB of cache, DVD burner, a pair of HD 5970 videocards, 6GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, EVGA X58 Classified motherboard, a 1200W PSU, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Kind of a quirky mix, though you're free to custom tailor the parts, assuming you have the wallet to accommodate and a penchant for buying pre-built.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts aren't the only ones stoked about Intel's latest 6-core monster, boutique system builders want in on the action too. Among them is CyberPower, who today announced that all of its high-end gaming rigs are getting the Gulftown treatment.
"Intel's Gulftown will enable you to crush the most intense 3D games and applications with ease," CyberPower said. "CyberPower's top of the line Black Pearl, Gamer Xtreme 3D, and Fang Series Black Mamba gaming systems will all be powered by Intel's 6-core monster. Additionally, CyberPower will integrate the Core i7-980X option across its entire X58 line of systems giving you the power of the Gulftown processor with your dream configuration."
As a refresher, Intel's Core i7-980X Extreme Edition chips bring to the table six processing cores clocked at 3.33GHz, and 12 threads when enabling HyperThreading. The chip runs about $1,000 retail, or a $720 upgrade over the Core i7-930 when configuring a gaming system through CyberPower.
Ever since Dell acquired Alienware almost four years ago to the day, power users have had a penchant for calling into question the boutique system builder's geek cred. Fair assessment or not, you have to credit Alienware for living on the bleeding edge of hardware, like being one of the first (if not the first) to offer a gaming PC built around Intel's recently unveiled 6-core Gulftown chip.
While you're at it, credit HotHardware for pulling whatever strings it took to land Alienware's new 6-core Area-51 and snapping a few pics. Details are sparse at the moment, but HH site owner Dave Altavilla tells us Alienware should be officially launching its newest Area-51 perhaps as early as tomorrow, which means you should be able to order one this week.
Those looking for high-end amenities will find them, including a hot-swap drive cage, a motorized side panel, and illuminated vent system. On the inside you'll find as much hardware as your wallet can accommodate. The one HotHardware abducted boasts a pair of Radeon HD 5970s (four GPUs!), a self-contained water cooler, and even a backup battery of sorts.
"So, when you open the side panel, even if the system is powered down and unplugged, you're still able to admire its build quality with a little mood lighting to warm you up like Barry White," Dave Altavilla explained.
Sounds groovy, and expensive. Unfortunately, no word yet on price.
Wasting very little time, Gigabyte today announced what it claims is the first AMD 6-core CPU-ready motherboard, the socket AM3 GA-890GPA-UD3H.
This is the first board to feature AMD's 890GX chipset paried with the new SB850 southbridge, resulting in native support for SATA 6Gbps, up to six devices in all. The southbridge also allows for SATA 6Gbps RAID support, another industry first according to Gigabyte.
"Giving users power over their high definition content is really at the heart of what the GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H is all about," commented Tim Handley, Deputy Director of Motherboard Marketing at GIGABYTE Technology Co. Ltd. "Not only does the GA-890GPA-UD3H deliver the industry’s highest performing integrated graphics solution with flawless HD video playback, but enabling SATA 6 Gbps with RAID functionality, USB 3.0 support and GIGABYTE 3x Power Boost means that users are able to spend less time waiting for their content to transfer, and more time to actually enjoy it."
Other features include USB 3.0 support, integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 graphics with 128MB DDR3 sideport memory, two PCI-E 2.0 x16 graphics slots, dual-channel DDR3-1866+ support, 3X USB power delivery, HDMI, and a few other odds and ends.