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.
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.
Who says AMD moves too slowly? Just a month after releasing its well regarded Phenom II mid-range CPUs, the company is back with no fewer than five new P-II chips and its new AM3 socket that support DDR3.
War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Well, except when it’s a CPU war. In that case, it’s good for consumers. Really good for us. With the unveiling of five new AMD’s latest Phenom II CPUs supporting DDR3, it’s pretty clear that the CPU war that started with the unveiling of the Phenom II in January is escalating.
AMD’s new lineup includes the 2.6GHz Phenom II X4 for $175, the 2.8GHz Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition at $145, and the 2.6GHz Phenom II X3 710 for $125. AMD’s two other new chips: the 2.6GHz Phenom II X4 910 and the 2.5GHz Phenom II X4 805. The 910 and 805 are OEM only CPUs and pricing was not released but you can expect that gray-markets will carry them and that the prices will follow the numbers. The 805, for example, should be slightly cheaper than the $175 810 and the 910 should be cheaper than the $195 Phenom II X4 920.
Lost in the numbers? So where we. AMD’s lineup is so bewildering to us today that we had build a spread sheet just to sort it out! We give you the skinny on AMD’s latest quad and tri-cores and help you sort through AMD’s bewildering array of CPU choices.
Every year around late December or early January the internet is bombarded with the top “whatever and such and such” of 2008. Here at Maximum PC we stopped to reflect on our favorite gaming moments, and even cracked the lid on the best of open source; but we never took the time to focus on the hilarious technological flops of the year now past. Luckily however, Tom’s Hardware has put together a fairly comprehensive list. Some of which we can agree with, others perhaps worthy of debate. The list includes:
1.) HD DVD 2.) Nvidia’s Mobile GeForce 8400M and 8600M 3.) iPhone Killers 4.) Windows Vista 5.) Mobile Television 6.) OLED Displays 7.) Phenom X3 8.) The Microsoft Yahoo Proposed Merger 9.) GPGPU 10.) Sony Ericsson XPeria X1 11.) HybridPower: Pseudo-Green 12.) Sony Batteries 13.) Fiber Optics 14.) Non-HD DTT 15.) GTA IV For PC
I’m sure we have more then a few readers that will jump to the defense of some of these items such as Windows Vista and perhaps OLED or Fiber, but it’s hard to argue with the bulk of it.
What do you think should be added or subtracted from the list?
The production of a sequel typically implies that the original creation is worth revisiting. However, considering that the original Phenom was the hardware version of Ishtar, many enthusiasts didn’t think Phenom deserved to be revisited.
AMD certainly thinks it does—and it hopes Phenom II is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn to Phenom’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. And why shouldn’t AMD be able to pull off a reversal of fortune? Phenom II isn’t just Phenom joined by a Roman numeral—it’s a die shrink with a boatload of additional cache and an improved core. In short, AMD hopes to erase memories of the original Phenom and put smiles on the faces of disappointed overclockers with its reimagined Phenom II chip.
Come with us as we review, critique, and dissect Phenom II and find out how it stacks up against a stack of Intel CPUs.
We know, you just got your rig right where you want it, complete with a primo CPU, a kick-ass videocard config, and seemingly limitless storage. So forgive us if we dangle the temptation of better, faster hardware in front of your face. We’re just doing our job. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been grilling our industry contacts for news of what computing delights await power users in the months and years to come. And delightful the future is: CPUs with eight cores, GPUs that run games as a pastime, mobos with both SLI and CrossFire support, and hard drives so large your data will feel puny and inadequate. And that’s just part of it.
Look at it this way: Our 2009 technology preview gives you advance warning about the hardware that will soon occupy your dreams, so you can start saving your pennies and plotting your next upgrade path today.
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.
According to DigiTimes, AMD will launch half a dozen 45nm Athlon processors by June of 2009. The quad-core Athlon X4 615 and 605 and triple-core Athlon X3 420 and 410 are expected to ship in April 2009, with the company's dual-core Athlon X2 240 and 235 coming a bit later in June 2009.
AMD has also been busy planning last order notices for its upcoming 45nm AM2+ Phenom II X4 920 and 940 Black Edition processors, which the company plans to issue in May 2009. Meanwhile, the Santa Clara chip maker will no longer take orders for its quad-core Phenom X4 9650. More Phenom last order notices aren't far behind, with AMD's Phenom X4 9950 (140W) and 9850 (125W) getting theirs in March of next year, and the Phenom X4 9750, 9850 (95W), and 9950 (125W) in June 2009.
But wait, there's more! DigiTimes says AMD's triple-core Phenom X3 8450 and 8550 are nearing their end of life in the market place, while the Phenom X3 8650 will have its last order notice issued in March 2009. The Phenom X3 8850 and 8750 CPUs will follow the same fate in June. And finally, AMD's Athlon X2 4450e chip, a low-power CPU, will be phased out in March 2009.
Phew! That's a lot of chips getting ready to head to the chopping block. Plan accordingly, AMD fans.
AMD will dub the 45nm die shrink of its consumer enthusiast CPU as Phenom II X4 and laid out plans for its first CPUs with integrated graphics core.
The Phenom II X4 is on tap for late this year and will follow the company’s smaller, faster 45nm Opteron chips. The new chip will feature 8MB of cache and support both DDR2 and DDR3 in the AM3 and AM2+ sockets. Phenom II X4 will be part of AMD’s “Dragon” platform that combines the new chip with DX10.1 graphics, the company’s new Stream GPU processing, OverDrive and Fusion for gaming utility.
AMD also announced plans for a 32nm family of chips as early as 2011. On the top end, a quad-core Orochi with 8MB of cache and DDR3 will hopefully keep enthusiasts happy. Orochi is part of AMD’s Bulldozer family that mysteriously disappeared from the company’s roadmap earlier this year. Until Orochi is available, the 45nm Phenom II X4, previously codenamed Deneb will hopefully fight off Intel’s Core i7 chips.
The move to 32nm will also see the Llano chip. The CPU will feature four cores, 4MB of cache, DDR3 and an integrated graphics core. AMD, meanwhile, confirmed it would be taking on Intel’s Atom chip with its Conesus CPU next year. Conesus will be dual-core, feature 1MB of cache and DDR2. In 2010, Conesus will give way to Geneva which doubles the cache to 2MB.
How far can I safely overclock a CPU if I’m using a stock cooler? I was building a budget rig and when I had money left over, I decided to upgrade from a high-end Athlon 64 to a really low-end 2.2GHz Phenom. I want to up the performance, even by a tiny bit, but I’m hesitant to do it with a stock cooler. Please help!