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!
AMD appears focused on reducing the power consumption of its Phenon II line and will do so starting with a new version of the Phenom II X4 955. The new part -- HDX955WFK4DGM -- comes rated at 95W, a significant decrease over the existing X4 955 rated at 125W.
The No. 2 chip maker also has a couple of triple-core chips on tap, the Phenom II X3 740 (3.0GHz, 95W) and the budget-friendly Phenom II X3 715 (3.8GHz, 3600MHz HT).
Finally, AMD is also planning on releasing two new 800 series Phenoms, and like all the other chips, they'll be rated at 95W. These will include the 805 (2.5GHz) and 820 (2.8GHz).
No word yet on when all these chips will make it to market or how much they'll cost.
ASRock recently stated it wanted to start targeting the enthusiast crowd, and making good on that intention, the company will start slapping a new UCC chip onto its motherboards.
So what's the big deal? UCC stands for Unlock CPU Core, and as you might have guessed, it's designed to make easy-work out of turning AMD's triple-core processors into unlocked quad-core parts. All you do is go into the BIOS, enter one of the options, and if the parts play nice together, you'll be sitting pretty with four cores where previously there were three.
The best part about this is ASRock said it intends to plop the UCC chip onto entry-level motherboards too. This tactic of putting high-end features onto lower-priced parts has helped ASRock build a following, and something like this could go a long way in upping the company's geek cred.
AMD plans on shaking up its marketing strategy starting with its next round of business-oriented processors. Whereas previous iterations have fallen under the company's B series ('B' for Business, of course), AMD will stick solely with its Phenom nomenclature, at least for its upcoming 3.2GHz business chip.
The Phenom II X4 97, as it will be called, will also come with 8MB of cache and a 95W TDP. This will replace the 3.0GHz Phenom II X4 B95 and rank as the fastest-running business processor in AMD's lineup.
Expect the Phenom II X4 94 to debut sometime in early Q2 2010, Fudzilla reports. No word yet on price.
Ready or not, six-core computing is coming, and it's coming from both sides of the tracks. We all know about Intel's plan to move to six-core chips, which will start with the Core i7 980X, a pricey processor (think at least $1,000) designed for socket 1366 systems. Look for this one to debut around the end of March.
But AMD also has plans to compete in the six-core sector and, according to news and rumor site DigiTimes, will launch three six-core desktop chips under its new Phenom II x6 1000T series in May 2010. These will consist of the Phenom II X6 1075T, 1055T, and 1035T, each of which is being built on a 45nm manufacturing process.
Coinciding with AMD's six-core parts will be a couple of new chipsets, the 890FX (RD890) and 890GX (RS880D).
No official word on pricing from either side just yet.
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.
Attention bargain shoppers, AMD has just released a handful of new CPUs starting at only $74 and finishing at a still budget-friendly $169 price point.
These are all desktop chips aimed at the mainstream market, and it starts with the Phenom II X2 255. This one comes clocked at 3.1GHz with a 65W TDP. Also of note is the sub-$100 (by a buck) Phenom II X2 555. Clocked at 3.2Ghz, this is now AMD's fastest dual-core chip available.
Upping the core ante, AMD also introduced the tri-core Athlon X3 440. This one comes clocked at 3GHz with a 95W TPD and runs $84.
On the quad-core front, there's the Athlon II X4 635 clocked at 3GHz with a 95W TDP and $119 price tag. Finally, there's the quad-core Phenom II X4 910e. This $169 chip scoots along at 2.6GHz and features a reduced TDP of 65W.
According to Fudzilla, AMD will also soon introduce the Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition (3.6GHz) and Phenom II X4 820 (2.8GHz), as well as a new 800 series chipset in a few months.
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.
AMD already offers a handful of chips built on a 45nm manufacturing process, but if what motherboard makers are telling news and rumor site DigiTimes turns out to be true, the No. 2 chip maker will fully embrace 45nm for its desktop parts next quarter. These include dual-core Phenom II X2 500 series and Athlon II X2 200 series in June, followed by quad-core Athlon II X4 600 series and triple-core Athlon II X3 400 series in September.
In addition, AMD has a few new CPUs on tap for an end of Q2 / beginning of Q3 release. DigiTimes says we'll see the Phenom X2 550 and 545 both launch by the end of the second quarter, and the quad-core Phenom II X4 945 (95W) and 8xx (95W), triple-core Phenom II X3 7xx (95W), quad-core Athlon II X4 630 and 620, triple-core Athlon II X3 435 and 425, and dual-core Ahtlon II X2 250, 245, and 240 all in the third quarter. This in addition to 10 low-power CPUs.