There was a time when all $800 would get you was a crappy pre-built PC riddled with proprietary parts from a bulk OEM. If you wanted to build a low-cost PC without all the pitfalls of proprietary hardware, you had to roll your own. That all changed when boutique system builders began to pump out lower cost machines using off the shelf parts, and if that's the route you're looking to take, you have two new systems to choose from.
All the focus right now is on Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge architecture and AMD's Bulldozer cores, but hey, there's still some life left in today's architectures, too. Within the next couple of months or so, AMD will beef up its Phenom II X6 line with a couple of new additions.
On the six-core front, AMD plans to release the Phenom II X6 1100T and 1065T. The 1100T will rank as AMD's new flagship part with a clockspeed of 3.30GHz (Turbo Speed 3.70GHz), 9MB of cache, and a 125W TDP.
The 1065T, on the other hand, will sit about halfway down AMD's hexacore totem pole, but will be the fastest six-core part with a 95W TDP. It will come clocked at 2.90GHz (Turbo Speed 3.40GHz) and also contain 9MB of cache.
Both of these processors take aim at the high performance crowd, while a new flagship quad-core chip is also in the works.
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.
This week, we present special late edition of the No BS Podcast, arriving conveniently after the press embargo on AMDs new $300 6-core CPU lifts. So even if you've already read our review of the chip, you're gonna want to hear Gordon explain the real deal. Or, tune in for our quaintly outdated discussion of whether Gizmodo is going to get in trouble for buying a stolen iPhone (hint: they are).
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
The big news today is that AMD's new Phenom II X6 processors are now shipping, and if you haven't done so already, read through Gordon's assessment of these low-priced parts right here. If you like what you see, you can head over to Newegg afterward and pick one of the chips up, or if you prefer to roll with a pre-built, CyberPower has already begun equipping its gaming rigs with the new 6-core parts.
CyberPower's Gamer Dragon CrossFire Ultimate and Gamer Ultra CrossFireX Pro are among the higher-end systems that have been upgraded with AMD's Phenom II X6 chips, but true to AMD's budget price points, you can jump on the 6-core bandwagon with a mainstream budget. Other 6-core capable rigs in CyberPower's stable include the entire Gamer Ultra and Gamer Dragon lines, with pricing starting out at just $699. Chew on that for a moment - for less than the cost of Intel's Core i7 980X, you can piece together an entire 6-core system built around AMD's Phenom II platform.
CyberPower says all of its rigs can be "easily factory overclocked," including those built around AMD's 6-core chips. The company is also offering a 5 percent discount up until tomorrow with coupon code INSTANT.
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!
AMD’s upcoming Phenom II X6 will include a “Turbo Core” feature that clocks up three of the chips cores by 500MHz, the company confirmed.
Seeking to “clear the air” on, umm, a phenomenal amount of leaks about its new hexa-core design, AMD officials detailed the most head-turning feature: Turbo Core.
When the CPU is under lightly-threaded tasks, the chip will run three of the cores 500MHz faster. Turbo Core is in response to the lack of applications that are optimized for quad core or higher. Turbo Core will keep the thermals and power consumption within the limits for the chip. The feature is baked into the new hexa-core Phenom II X6 and is independent of any app or OS.
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!
Right now all the talk is on Intel's 6-core Gulftown chip, and rightfully so (see here for our in-depth evaluation). But in a little over a month, AMD will dish out its own 6-core desktop lineup dubbed Phenom II X6. AMD hasn't offered up a lot of details on its upcoming chips, but that's okay, because some key info may have been inadvertently leaked to the Web.
According to Tech Connect, Gigabyte released a handful of BIOS updates that reveal what clocks AMD's chips will run at. There will be four chips to begin with, including the Phenom II X6 1035T, 1055T (in both 95W and 125W TDP flavors), and the 1075T. As it's been leaked to th Web, the 1035T will come clocked at 2.6GHz, while the 1055T will kick things up a notch to 2.8GHz.
On the higher end, the fastest clocked hexacore -- the 1075T -- will sport a 3.0Ghz clockspeed, which is 333MHz slower (in clockspeed) than Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition part.
Stay tuned, as these are subject to change, and we still don't have any pricing info.