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.
If you're wanting to jump on the 6-core bandwagon without spending upwards of $1,000, the wait is almost over, folks. Next Tuesday, April 27, AMD is scheduled to release its Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition clocked at 3.2GHz, as well as a handful of other six-core processors.
AMD might have wanted to wait a little longer, but a few retailers outside of the U.S. have already listed the chips for sale, so there wouldn't be much point in holding out much longer. And the time is ripe to go up against Intel anyway, whose only six-core chip is the ultra-pricey Core i7 980X.
Look for AMD to come out swinging with at least four different six-core CPUs next Tuesday, some of which are expected to debut with a 95W TDP. The slowest of these will come clocked at 2.6GHz.
Anyone planning on picking one of these up next week? How much would you be willing to spend on a six-core processor? Are we at a point where we need six cores of processing power? Hit the jump and sound off!
Slowly but surely, the six-core revolution is getting under way. Intel kicked things off with the release of its Core i7 980X, followed by a flurry of six-core chips at the ready from AMD, and within the next few weeks, Intel will release a slightly lower clocked (and lower priced) followup to the 980X.
According to reports, Intel's Core i7 970 part will likely show up in the third quarter. It will race along at 3.2GHz compared to 3.33GHz for the 980X, and while no pricing info has been released, news and rumor site Fudzilla says it will probably sell for around €799. A straight conversion still puts it at over $1,000 USD, and even though we suspect it will sell for less in the States, that's still on the high side, especially compared to AMD's offerings.
In other chip news, Intel has launched its Core i5 680, which ranks as the fastest Clarkdale dual-core chip yet. Built around Intel's 32nm Westmere architecture, the 680 chip comes clocked at 3.6GHz and features 4MB of L3 cache.
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!
Digital Storm may have just built the baddest workstation on the block, or at least in the home consumer market. Tapping into Intel's latest and greatest, Digital Storm's new DAVINCI workstation crunches workloads with Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition chip doing much of the heavy lifting.
Helping it go is an Nvidia PNY Quadro FX 1800 graphics card with 768MB of dedicated RAM. Other baseline specs include 12GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, Asus P6X58D Premium motherboard, a 1000W power supply, and Windows 7 Professional.
"The philosophy behind DAVINCI is simple: engineer a workstation that completely maximizes application performance so that creative professionals can accelerate their productivity," commented Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm’s Director of Product Development. "Thanks to NVIDIA’s and Intel’s most powerful components to date, our DAVINCI workstations will be fully optimized for the forthcoming release of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5."
Digital Storm says it subjects each DAVINCI system to a rigorous 72-hour stress test prior to shipping. Should something break anyway, the rigs come backed with a 4-year warranty.
As equipped above, pricing starts at $4,995, which represents the company's mid-range (Professional) DAVINCI. There's also a Performance model that starts out at $2,952 (Intel Core i7 930, Quadro FX 580, 750W PSU) and an Enthusiast model that runs $5,778 (dual Intel Xeon E5530 chips, Intel Workstation board, Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 graphics, 1000W PSU).
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.
Boutique system builders have been all over Intel's Core i7 980X Extreme Edition chip ever since it officially launched, and that includes iBuyPower, who just announced four new "high overclockable" Paladin systems rocking the 6-core part.
"Gamers looking to get the most out of their new six core systems can take advantage of the iBuyPower Labs' Power Drive Overclocking Service, which overclocks th CPU by as much as 30 percent and comes standard on the Paladin XLC V3," iBuyPower said in a statement. "Other innovative iBuyPower exclusive products and services include the Harmony Sound Reduction System, the Internal USB Expansion System, and iBuyPower's Specialized Advanced packaging System with Expanding foam inserts to prevent damage during shipping."
Surprisingly affordable, pricing on the refreshed Paladins starts at $2,159 (Paladin F890), which is the lowest we've seen for a system that includes Intel's 6-core chip. Other baseline specs include Cooler Master's HAF 922 chassis, Asetek self-contained liquid cooler, 6GB of DDR3-1333, ATI Radeon 5830, Asus P6T motherboard, 1TB hard drive, 22X DVD burner, Windows Home 7 Premium, and a 700W power supply. For a couple hundred bucks, you could upgrade to an HD 5870 videocard and end up with a pretty monstrous system for under $2,500.
Digital Storm becomes the latest boutique OEM to dance with Intel's 6-core Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor. It's available in the company's high-end Black|OPS machine, which starts off at $5,642.
"The introduction of a six-core processor hyper threading capabilities is a momentous occasion for gaming enthusiasts," remarked Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "With our TwisterBoost overclocking package, we can overclock the i7-980X to a record breaking 4.4GHz. The results we've recorded on our test bench have been nothing short of astounding. I can honestly say that our Black OPS machines with this new CPU resulted in the most impressive gaming experience I've ever had."
So what else do you get for that kind of hefty investment? The other baseline specs include a 500GB hard drive with 16MB of cache, DVD burner, a pair of HD 5970 videocards, 6GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, EVGA X58 Classified motherboard, a 1200W PSU, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Kind of a quirky mix, though you're free to custom tailor the parts, assuming you have the wallet to accommodate and a penchant for buying pre-built.
Here's hoping AMD stays around for a long, long time. Why? Because even if the No. 2 chip maker can't seem to compete at the high end, it can at least put pressure on Intel to release high-octane parts at lower price points. Let us explain.
We've known for some time that Intel plans to reward X58 owners with a six-core Gulftown upgrade, which is great. But what's not so groovy is that the upcoming Core i7 980X -- planned for a March release -- will likely run $1,000 or more, leaving six-core computing to the wealthy and/or seriously committed.
Then last week came the announcement that AMD was readying no less than three six-core chips of its own under its new Phenom II x6 1000T series this May. And maybe this has nothing to do with anything, but it's at least curious that we're now learning of a second six-core chip from Intel, the Core i7 970.
According to Fudzilla, the chip is real, and it's not an extreme version, and so it won't carry an extreme price tag. The Core i7 970 will come clocked at 3.2GHz with 12 hyperthreading cores, along with a 6.4GB/s QPI. Toss turbo overclocking into the mix, and the 970 will sometimes race along at 3.46MHz.
Look for the Core i7 970 to ship in the third quarter of this year, and while we don't expect it to be cheap, it should end up running a good chunk less than the 980X.
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.