The film Predators opened in theaters over the weekend, and as was the case with several other flicks proceed by Robert Rodriquez -- Shorts, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3D: Game Over, Planet Terror, Sin City -- it was AMD hardware that brought the special effects to life.
In this case, Troublemaker Studios tapped into AMD's six-core Opteron processors and ATI FirePro graphics cards, and specifically the V8800 iteration. Representing the flagship GPU in the FirePro Vxxx line, the V8800 comes with 1600 stream processors, a 256-bit memory interface, 2GB of GDDR5, and all the modern standards you would expect, such as DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, and Shader Model 5.0.
Six digital artists comprised the core Predators production team. According to Charlie Boswell, AMD's Direct of Digital Media and Entertainment, the AMD-powered workstations allowed the Predators team to render scenes in real-time at resolutions of up to 4,096 x 2,160.
Forget about how the actual performance stands up, if we're judging chips based solely on how many cores they're packing, then AMD stands alone in the budget and mid-range territories. Intel's lowest priced six core processor is also its most expensive (Core i7 980X Extreme Edition), while you can head over to Walmart and pick up an entire system built around AMD's lowest cost six-core chip for less.
Given that AMD owns the low-cost six-core market right now, the company can afford to sit on its laurels and see how Intel responds, but it's not going to. Instead, the Santa Clara chip maker is planning yet another low-cost Phenom II X6 processor, the 1045T.
The 1045T will come clocked at 2.7GHz. That's 100MHz faster than the 1035T in Walmart's blue light special, which will soon be obsolete. With the introduction of the 1045T, AMD will kill off the slower 1035T in the third quarter.
Other specs should look familiar to anyone who's been following AMD's foray into six-core territory. Built around the company's 45nm Thuban core, the 1045T will support DDR3-1333 memory, come with 9MB of cache, and overclock to 3.2GHz via Turbo Cool technology.
If you're planning on building a system around AMD's six-core Phenom II X6 platform, you may want to sit tight for a few days and see how things shake out. In exchange for your patience, you might be rewarded with a more power-friendly chip than you were anticipating. Or not.
According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, AMD is prepping a slightly revised Phenom II X6 1055T processor. What's curious about this is Fudzilla says the new part will use the same E0 stepping as the current 1055T part, but come spec'd at 95W TDP instead of 125W TDP.
There aren't any U.S. vendors showing the new part just yet, though one was spotted at this German vendor's website. According to the listing, all the other specs remain the same, including 2.8GHz clockspeed, 6MB shared cache, and 4.0GT/s Hypertransport.
Backwards Compatility with AM3 is the Big Surprise
Eat that Gulftown: AMD officials have not only confirmed that it will release a hexa-core processor next year – but it will be backwards compatible with existing AM3 and AM2+ motherboards.
Although heavily reported as a rumor that an AMD six-core was coming to consumer desktops, the company had not confirmed rumors. That is until Monday, when AMD officials told Maximum PC that the chip was a done deal.
“We are all about platform longevity and long-lived upgrade paths,” and AMD spokesman said in a sideways ding at its competitor Intel which has a penchant for requiring new sockets for its CPUs. Intel currently has three different socket infrastructures on its desktop computers – all incompatible. The confirmation also comes one day before Intel’s three-day IDF conference which usually blots out all news from competitors for days.