Even with all the talk about new directions like Trinity, Vishera and the whole heterogenous computing concept, one old standby is still holding steady at AMD: the decade-plus old Athlon brand. In recent years, Athlon processors have taken a backseat to AMD's APUs, but they're still chugging along, and CPU World reports that the company is brewing up a batch of three new Athlon II X4 CPUs for Socket FM2 as we speak.
There's a rumor floating around that AMD will soon bury its Athlon, Phenom, and Sempron brand names, just as the chip maker did with its Radeon brand a few months ago. According to XbitLabs, which claims to have seen a document detailing the change, AMD plans to divide its upcoming Llano and Zambezi processor lines into different classes of its Vision platforms, which will be designated by FX-series, A-series, and E-series instead of Athlon, Phenom, and Sempron.
Lenovo has introduced three new value systems rocking AMD CPUs and graphics. The C315 is a stylish little all-in-one set up, and the G445 and G555 are laptops. Lenovo is making no mistake about the message here. “Our new G series notebooks and C series all-in-one desktop are designed for users who want a simple but powerful computing experience without any headaches,” said Lenovo’s Dion Weisler.
The C315 will have a fairly large 20 inch widescreen display with touchscreen technology built in. It will have an Athlon dual-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, and ATI Radeon Mobility graphics. At $649, this isn’t a bad deal at all. It’s sort of a budget HP TouchSmart machine.
The laptops look like nice values as well. Both will have 16:9 widescreen displays and Turion II dual-core CPUs. Radeon HD graphics are, of course, also on board. Lenovo did not detail what specs would differentiate the two units, which makes us curious as they both have the same MSRP of $449. Keep an eye on this if you're looking for a deal on a system and power isn't tops on your list.
The Asian press got a sneak preview of AMD’s processor roadmap at the launch event for the new Phenom II and Athlon II chips. It’s no secret that AMD has been lagging behind rival Intel, but if the slides are to be believed, AMD could still come back.
It looks like AMD plans to release the “Leo” platform later this year with a 6-core 45nm process. This would be in competition with Intel’s Clarkdale CPUs at 32nm. The Leo is slated to be replaced with the 32nm Scorpius platform in 2011. This platform would apparently be equipped with a “next-generation discrete graphics solution”, Bulldozer Zambezi CPU, and up to eight cores. We will also see the mid-range Lynx platform in 2011 with "next-generation integrated graphics". Could this be what happened to Fusion?
Sure, this is just a quick presentation of a theoretical roadmap, but maybe AMD has an ace up their sleeve. If the Leo platform make the scene in 2010, that will be a good start.
Even the Intel fanboys have to hand it to AMD once in a while. After Intel deftly dropped a Core i5 anvil on Phenom II’s head, AMD did a quick drop to floor and now fires back slo-mo style with its own chip: a $99 quad core.
Dubbed the Athlon II X4 620, this 2.6GHz quad core isn’t just leftover parts swept off the factory floor, either. The Athlon II X4 is based on the familiar K10 microarchitecture in the Phenom and Phenom II, but it’s actually a newer, smaller die. In fact, the new chip has less than half the transistors of a Phenom II X4 processor. Much of the shrinkage comes at the expense of cache. While the Phenom II packs 6MB of L3, the budget Athlon II X4 features none.
The TDP of the new Athlon II X4 chips (there are two, but only one is sub $100) is also considerably lower than the top-end Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition chip at 95 watts versus 140 watts. Other than the TDP and lack of L3 cache, the CPUs are essentially the same as their Phenom predecessors.
Read on for our full analysis, review, and benchmarks!
We're still waiting for AMD to go gunning after Core i7, but in the meantime, the No. 2 chip maker announced plans to expand its Athlon and Phenom processor lines. The new chips include the Athlon II X2 250 and Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition.
Zipping along at 3.0GHz, the Athlon II X2 250 will take its place as the fastest Athlon processor in AMD's lineup. Other vitals include a 45nm manufacturing processor, 65W TDP, and an AM3 package allowing it to support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory. Perhaps best of all, the new chip is being priced at a budget-friendly $87.
As for the other processor, the Phenom II X2 550 BE will rank as the company's "fastest ever dual-core processor" clocked at 3.1GHz. It will come with an HT Link of 2.0GHz, a 7MB cache, and the same AM3 package as the aforementioned Athlon II. And it won't cost much more, either - look for a $103 price tag.
Believe it or not, your terrifically fast Core i7 fresh off Intel's assembly line contains DNA that dates back over three decades. The same is true if you roll with AMD's latest silicon, the Phenom II X4. We're of course referring to the longstanding x86 microprocessor architecture that has dominated the desktop and mobile scene since before some of you were even born, and will probably be a mainstay still yet for many more years to come.
Invented by Intel in 1978, the x86 architecture has evolved through the ages, not only getting faster, but increasingly flexible as more and more extensions and instruction sets accompany each new release. It's been a wild ride the past 30 years, and whether you lived through it all or have only recently picked up your first processor, we invite you to join as we look back at not only the most popular x86 CPUs in its history, but ones you may never even have heard of.
Buckle up, sit back, and join us after the jump for a look back at the x86 timeline.
At this year’s CES AMD showed off a new platform named Yukon that featured a single-core Athlon Neo processor. The machine from HP that it was inside rivaled the MacBook Air in thickness, was cooled passively to prevent noise and size, and impressed most that saw it.
Coming in the wake of such an impressive little chip, is the Neo’s next version, a dual-core that will be coming inside a platform codenamed Congo. The Congo will be a dual-core version of the Neo that is aimed at ultraportable laptops, but not quite netbooks.
Its expected that the chip will be available on the consumer market in the second half of this year, will run at a little more than 1.6GHz, and should be the driving force behind plenty of 12 to 14 inch notebooks.
AMD's decision to skip the netbook market up to this point has been a curious one, considering how well the low power mobile PCs are selling. Now that AMD has officially launched its Athlon Neo chip, Intel might finally have some competition to contend with, right? Not so fast.
According to Gizmodo, AMD's answer to Intel's Atom doesn't answer very much. Instead, the site says the Athlon Neo costs more, consumes more power, and despite being faster than the Atom, the Neo surprisingly isn't intended for netbooks. Huh?
"We believe there is a significant market opportunity that lies between the less-capable mininotebook and higher-priced ultraportable notebook segments,” said Bob O’Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays, IDC. “Integrating the right kind of technologies will enable companies to pioneer a new category of ultrathin notebook PCs, offering consumers the value they seek in a challenging global economy."
Instead of targeting the wildly popular netbook market, AMD plans to focus on ultrathin notebooks starting with HP's Pavilion dv2 Entertainment Notebook. Previously codenamed Yukon, the Athlon Neo chip gets paired with either the ATI Radeon X1250 integrated graphics, or the optional ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 discrete graphics solution, making it far better suited for media-oriented applications than most netbooks, so perhaps AMD is on to something here.
Will AMD's strategy of targeting a niche market between netbooks and ultraportables pay off? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
If AMD continues to falter in 2009, it won't be from a lack of processors. Less than two weeks ago, DigiTimes reported that the Santa Clara chip maker would churn out no less than half a dozen 45nm Athlon CPUs by June of 2009 in addition to the upcoming Phenom II release, all of which are aimed at the consumer desktop sector. But that's just the beginning; AMD also plans to flesh out its business CPU lineup with several 45nm silicon as well, DigiTimes says.
Six new business classes processors divided evenly between dual-, triple-, and quad-core parts are slated for Q3 2009. These include:
Athlon X2 B21 (2.7GHz, 2MB cache)
Athlon X2 B23 (2.9GHz, 2MB cache)
Phenom II X3 B71 (2.6GHz, 7.5MB cache)
Phenom II X3 B73 (2.8GHz, 7.5MB cache)
Phenom II X4 B91 (2.6GHz, 8MB cache)
Phenom II X4 B93 (2.8GHz, 8MB cache)
Several new Phenom II, Athlon X2, and Athlon processors will also receive last order notices in Q4 2009.