Intel isn’t shipping stock heatsinks with Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, perhaps assuming that consumers of $600 and $1,000 CPUs are going to want performance a little better than Intel’s stock coolers have typically provided. Instead, Intel is offering a branded liquid-cooling loop as an optional accessory. The Asetek-built cooling loop features a glowing blue Intel logo and a bright blue LED on its single 12cm fan, but otherwise looks nearly identical to the Antec Kuhler 620, which was also built by Asetek (which also built AMD’s Bulldozer-branded liquid cooling loop).
The latest Zalman heatsink looks cooler than it is
THE CNPS12X MIGHT be Zalman’s most eye-catching cooler, with two arrays of black-nickel-coated cooling fins and three 12cm fans to push air through them. And it is massive. It’s 6.1 inches tall, 5.25 deep, and more than 6 inches wide, and weighs two pounds, four ounces. It’s so big it overhangs the inner four RAM slots on our Asus P9X79 Deluxe test motherboard, requiring the use of RAM without tall heat spreaders. The six direct-contact heat pipes rise into two sets of cooling fins, with the front and rear fans nestled into their respective fins, and the middle fan in between the two sets. All three fans are controlled via a single 3-pin power connector.
AMD's newly appointed CTO Mark Papermaster provided the public with its first glimpse of its upcoming Steamroller x86 CPU core. Steamroller represents the third generation of AMD's Bulldozer architecture, succeeding Piledriver (second generation) with improved parallelism, increased performance, and more instruction cache, which will lead to 30 percent fewer cache misses and a 20 percent reduction in mistaken branch predictions.
Zotac specializes in pint sized PCs and is best known for its Zbox Nano line of small form factor (SFF) systems. Thanks to the rapid march of technology, these types of machines, when properly configured, can pack a performance punch that defy their compact form, and that's exactly what Zotac hopes to achieve by upgrading its Zbox Nano line with an AMD E2-1800 accelerated processing unit (APU).
Even though it has been almost three months since AMD first began shipping 2nd-generation A-series “Trinity” mobile APUs, there is still no sign of their desktop counterparts. The last we heard of the desktop Trinity APUs from the Sunnyvale-based chip maker was back in July. But even back then the company merely reassured everyone that the release of the chips was “on track.” With the company still unwilling to commit to a release date, there is plenty of speculation surrounding the release schedule of these desktop APUs.
Samsung today took the mobile world by storm by introducing its new Exynos 5 Dual SoC (System-on-Chip) manufactured on a 32nm High K/Metal Gate process. It features the world's first ARM Cortex A15 dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz and is capable of driving WQXGA (2560x1600) displays, paving the way for a new generation of tablets that trump the much hyped Retina display on Apple's third gen iPad device.
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) these days are all about combining CPU and GPU functions onto single slices of silicon, but is there still a market for GPU-less processors? Sure there is. After all, peanut butter without jelly is still a tasty snack, as any canine will attest, and if you're rocking discrete graphics or have an IGP motherboard, all you're really interested in is the CPU portion of a processor anyway. To serve those customers, Intel is said to be readying the release of its Core i5 3350P processor, which is an Ivy Bridge chip without graphics.
It's not always easy to say goodbye, but in some cases, well, it just plain feels good. Intel's discontinuation of its Atom D2700 processor is one of those moments. With the third quarter now well underway, Intel killing off its fastest Atom processor, as the D2700 is has been tagged with an End of Life (EOL) label. So, why does it feel good to say goodbye in this case?
Jim Keller, now 53 years old, was a chip designer at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) over a decade ago. His roots in the industry go back much further than that, all the way back to his DEC days where he cut his teeth on Alpha processors, but most recently he served as Director of Platform Architecture at Apple where he had a hand in designing the A4 and A5 processors employed in millions of iPads, iPhones, iPod touch devices, and Apple TV boxes. In a refreshing change of pace for AMD, which has lost some top level talent in recent months and years, Keller is back in Sunnyvale where he'll serve as the company's corporate vice president and chief architect of microprocessor cores.
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.