ECS Motherboard First to Support AMD Memory Profiles (AMP)

Subject: Motherboards | July 23, 2012 - 05:32 PM |
Tagged: motherboard, memory profile, memory, ECS, amp, amd

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) recently announced its support for the new AMD Memory Profile (AMP) technology. The A85F2-A Deluxe will be the first of the company’s motherboards to support AMP.

AMP.JPG

AMP is AMD’s version of Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) which amounts to known-safe automatic overclock settings. The AMP profiles are stored in the DDR3 memory modules and can be read by supporting motherboards. Now knowing the proper voltage, CAS latencies, and timings to use, the motherboard can ideally automatically configure the modules to run at optimal speeds.

The setting will be able to be enabled/disabled in the BIOS of the new ECS motherboard, as shown in the screenshot below. According to its press release, ECS is the first company to integrate AMD Memory Profile support into its motherboards, and it is honored to lead the charge. “Making a unique and glory prominent product is the only purpose for ECS.”

DSC_0189.jpg

Here’s hoping the implementation works well and is more accurate than my experience with XMP profiles has been! Will you be using AMP in your AMD builds?

Source: ECS

AMD Blames Lackluster Earnings on Weak Economy

Subject: Processors | July 20, 2012 - 11:21 AM |
Tagged: quarterly earnings, loss, APU, amd

AMD recently released its Q2 2012 earnings (as did Intel), and things are continuing to look bleak for the number two x86-64 processor company. The company stated that the lower than expected numbers were the result of a weak economy and during a time of the year when people are not buying computers. The may be some truth to that as the second quarter is in the post-Christmas holiday season lul and before the big back-to-school retail push. On the economy front, it’s harder for me to say but without going political or armchair economist on you, the market seems better than it has been but is really still recovering–At least from a consumer perspective.

AMD reported revenue of $1.41 billion in the second quarter of 2012, which does not seem terrible, but when compared to Intel’s $13.5 billion Q2 revenue, and the fact that AMD’s numbers represent an 11-percent lower value than last quarter and 10-percent decrease versus Q2 2011, it’s easy to say that things are not looking good for the company.

According to Paul Lilly over at MaximumPC, when breaking AMD’s numbers down by business segment it gets even worse. Its Computing Solutions business fell 13-percent versus the previous quarter and Q2 2011. On the other hand, the company has the ever-so-slightly better news that the graphics card division stayed the same versus last year and was down 5-percent versus last quarter. The company was quoted as stating that the respective revenue drops were due to lower desktop sales in China and Europe and a “seasonally down quarter.”

PC Perspective’s Josh Walrath recently wrote up an editorial (note: pre-earnings call) that talks about AMDs new plan to focus on APUs, take on less risk, and push out new products faster. As a future-looking article, it talks about the impact of the company’s upcoming VIshera and Kaveri processors as well as AMD’s increased focus on heterogeneous system architectures. It remains to be seen if that new path for company will help them to make money or if it will hurt them. AMD cautions that Q3 2012 may not see increased revenue, but here’s hoping that they will be able to pull together for a strong Q4 and sell chips during the big holiday shopping season.

I for one am excited about the prospects of Kaveri and believe that HSA could work and is what AMD needs to focus on as it is one advantage that they have over NVIDIA and Intel – NVIDIA does not have an x86-64 license and Intel’s processor graphics leave room for improvement, to put it mildly. AMD may not have the best CPU cores, but it’s not an inherently bad design and where they are moving with the full convergence of the CPU and GPU is much farther ahead of the other big players.

Read more about AMD's Q2 2012 earnings (transcript).

Source: Maximum PC
Author:
Manufacturer: MSI

The HAWK Returns

The $300 to $400 range of video cards has become quite crowded as of late.  If we can remember way back to March when AMD introduced their HD 7800 series of cards, and later that month we saw NVIDIA release their GTX 680 card.  Even though NVIDIA held the price/performance crown, AMD continued to offer their products at what many considered to be grossly overpriced considering the competition.  Part of this was justified because NVIDIA simply could not meet demand of their latest card, and they were often unavailable for purchase at MSRPs.  Eventually AMD started cutting back prices, but this led to another issue.  The HD 7950 was approaching the price of the HD 7870 GHz Edition.  The difference in prices between these products was around $20, but the 7950 was around 20% faster than the 7870.  This made the HD 7870 (and the slightly higher priced overclocked models) a very unattractive option for users.

r7870h_01.jpg

It seems as though AMD and their partners have finally rectified this situation, and just in time.  With NVIDIA finally being able to adequately provide stock for both the GTX 680 and GTX 670, the prices on the upper-midrange cards has taken a nice drop to where we feel they should be.  We are now starting to see some very interesting products based on the HD 7850 and HD 7870 cards, one of which we are looking at today.

The MSI R7870 HAWK

The R7870 Hawk utilizes the AMD HD 7870 GPU.  This chip has a reference speed of 1 GHz, but with the Hawk it is increased to a full 1100 MHz.  The GPU has the entire 20 compute units enabled featuring 1280 stream processors.  It has the 256 bit memory bus running 2GB of GDDR-5 memory at 1200 MHz, which gives a total bandwidth of 160 GB/sec.  I am somewhat disappointed that MSI did not give the memory speed a boost, but at least the user can enable that for themselves through the Afterburner software.

Continue reading our review of the MSI R7870 HAWK Graphics card!!

Podcast #210 - Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, ssd, shimian, podcast, origin, nvidia, Intel, eon11, catleap, amd, 7970

PC Perspective Podcast #210 - 07/19/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Cheap 1440P Monitors, 11" Gaming Notebooks, Windows 8, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:02:09

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:30 Introduction
  2. 0:01:30 PC Per moving to pcper.com/live
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  6. 0:03:10 Quakecon - Hardware Workshop @ pcper.com/workshop (August 4th, 2012 time TBD)
  7. 0:04:50 Join me next weekend at Fry's!!
    1. Fry's Electronics, 1077 East Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:05:40 Achieva Shimian high res Korean monitor review
    2. 0:14:40 Corsair Vengeance 1300 and 1500 headset review
    3. 0:15:30 Origin EON 11-S (m11x successor) review
  1. 0:20:10 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  1. News items of interest:
    1. 0:22:00 New Radeon HD 7000-series pricing
    2. 0:25:30 GPU Stock Update for July 17th
    3. 0:32:15 6GB Sapphire TOXIC Edition 7970 GHz - 1200 MHz boost speed
    4. 0:36:55 PoV launches overclocked GT 640
    5. 0:37:35 Microsoft Office 2013 (aka Office 15) Customer Preview,
    6. 0:41:30 Blue Prolimatech Megahalems HSF prototype
    7. SSD Stuff
      1. 0:42:40 Intel adds 240GB 330-series SSD, lowers prices
      2. 0:44:00 Possible MSI SandForce SSD
        1. Allyn believes this may just mean the company will integrate a mSATA SSD with it's mobos.
      3. 0:44:30: New OCZ/Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD Controller
    8. 0:47:50 Retina MacBook Pro from a PC Perspective
    9. 0:53:00 Desktop Trinity APUs delayed
    10. 0:57:15 Microsoft Releasing Upgrade/OEM Editions for sale on October 26, 2012
  1. Closing:
    1. 0:58:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Vertex 4 special tease!!
        1. VTX4-25SAT3-64G - $69.99
        2. VTX4-25SAT3-128G - $104.99
        3. VTX4-25SAT3-256G - $199.99
        4. VTX4-25SAT3-512G - $529.99
      2. Jeremy: I really dislike installing heatsinks
      3. Josh: A kickin card for cheap
      4. Tim: Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, in the steam sale today!
  1. 01:02:10 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. 01:02:55 http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. 01:03:00 http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. 01:03:30 Quakecon coverage at pcper.com/workshop. Hope to see you there!
  5. 01:04:15 Closing/outro

 

 

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - July 17th, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2012 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: stock check, radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and the release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

7970ge.jpg

AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB - Out of Stock
Starting at $499

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $429

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $349

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $299

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $239

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $124

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - Out of Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

In a stunning change of fate, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 has been steadily in stock for the last few weeks but the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition that we reviewed on June 24th has yet to show its face.  Yes, you can find HD 7970 cards running at 1000 MHz core clock speeds (and higher) though they don't have the 6.0 Gbps memory speeds nor the "PowerTune with Boost" technology that really set the new version of the GPU apart. 

When asked, AMD told us to expect Sapphire and XFX models in stock early next week - so we'll definitely keep an eye on the online retailers for that. 

The only other changes are some more price drops on the AMD side.  You can now get a standard HD 7970 for $80 less than the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7950 for $50 less than the GTX 670.  AMD knows that with NVIDIA's great branding and marketing they needed to make a case for their GPUs over the competition and these types of price cuts really give gamers two great options for their gaming dollar.

We are still waiting on NVIDIA's answer for sub-$399 GPUs based on Kepler - hopefully we won't be waiting long.

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

New HD7970 GHz Editions and new pricing for all models

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 13, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: tahiti, radeon, hd7970, hd 7970 ghz edition, hd 7870 ghz edition, hd 7870, amd

AMD today announced that the HD7970 GHz Edition will be available on July 16th for a MSRP of $500.  As well there will be a 7870 GHz Edition as well, retailing for around $300 which is a rather nice price point for a premium model of the 7870.  As far as changes to existing models, the Radeon HD 7970 will be available for $429 and the HD 7950 will be available for $349.  While these prices may disappoint early adopters, perhaps the fact that a CrossFire setup has become more affordable will give some comfort.

image001.png

These new prices will come in conjunction with AMD's "Three-for-Free promotion" which will allow you to choose three DX11 games to acquire for free along with your purchase of a Tahiti based Radeon GPU.  For those on a lower budget, the 7870 GHz Edition will net you a free copy of DiRT Showdown.

Source: AMD

Desktop Trinity may be retarded

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2012 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: amd, trinity, fm2, A10-5800k

After launching the mobile version of Trinity, AMD let desktop users know that they could expect to see Socket FM2 processors released in the summer.  That may no longer be the case according to a report that DigiTimes heard about which puts the timeline closer to October.  Even worse, this delay is due to them making some changes to the processors design which hints at all sorts of horrible possibilities of which the best you can hope is that they are having yield problems.  Hoping that AMD just wants to see existing stock of Llano processors sold makes little sense, none of the major tech companies seems to feel any regret at pushing out new designs over top of old ones no matter how much stock currently exists.

Worth noting is that in October, assuming we do see Trinity launch, AMD will have current generation chips and motherboards using AM3, AM3+ (Vishera), FM1 (Llano), FM2 (Trinity) and FT1 (Brazos 2.0).  To say that this is going to confuse customers is an understatement. 

amd-trinity-600.jpg

"AMD has reportedly postponed the launch of its Trinity processors for desktop platforms from August to October in order to make some adjustments to the processors' designs. Downstream motherboard makers are also rushing to make adjustments to their new motherboard projects set to release in the second half, according to sources from motherboard makers."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

AMD Social Media Reviewers Wanted - 2000 AMD APUs Available Free!

Subject: General Tech, Processors | July 12, 2012 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: amd, llano, APU, comiccon

If you are in the San Diego area today or tomorrow, you should make it a point to stop by Belo San Diego (http://www.belosandiego.com/ 438 E Street), a night club near the convention area, to visit with the AMD and the Geek and Sundry group.

day.jpg

Felicia Day, most popular for her role in the web-series The Guild, will be part of the on going event between 10am and 2am both today (the 12th) and tomorrow sponsored by AMD.  She is excited to be there - just look!

If you stop by the Belo nightclub during those hours you can take home a FREE AMD A8-3870K APU (with accompanying motherboard) if you agree to use your social media outlets (Twitter and Facebook) to tell your friends about the experience.  You will in fact become an AMD Social Media Reviewer!

Sorry, if you aren't in the San Diego area, you are out of luck on this promotion.  This is just another reason why attending ComicCon is so enticing!

Source: AMD

Podcast #209 - Thunderbolt on Windows, Western Digital Red Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2012 - 01:35 PM |
Tagged: WD, ThunderFX, thunderbolt, ssd, red, podcast, Intel, gtx 680, gpu, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #209 - 07/12/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Thunderbolt Performance on Windows, the new Western Digital Red Hard Drives, a passively cooled GTX 680 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:15:06

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Quakecon - we need Tshirt ideas!!
  6. 00:05:45 Thunderbolt Performance on Windows with ASUS P8Z77-V Premium
  7. 00:17 Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard Review
  8. 00:18:30 AMD, Vishera and Beyond!
  9. 00:26:45 HP Envy 14 Spectre Review
  10. 00:28:30 Western Digital Red 3TB NAS HDD Review
  11. 00:41:51 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  12. 00:42:45 Passively cooled GTX 680 anyone?
  13. 00:45:45 Windows 8 Pro will run you $39
  14. 00:50:00 Overclocking makes your system less stable...duhhh
  15. 00:57:00 ASUS and Gigabyte raise warranty times
  16. 00:58:30 Mid-range Kepler rumors
  17. 01:03:03 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: ThunderboltEX from ASUS
    2. Jeremy: I like this Lenovo X220 work stuck me with
    3. Josh: Like I need another time sink
    4. Allyn: WD Red
  18. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  19. http://pcper.com/podcast
  20. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  21. Closing

​For those of you that prefer the video version, see below:

AMD's second quarter is more than a little off target

Subject: General Tech | July 10, 2012 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: amd, quarterly earnings

While AMD predicted the second quarter of 2012 to be up 3 per cent, plus or minus 3 per cent compared to last quarter, total revenue instead fell by 11%.  This is blamed on the slowed global economy, not just in North America but in other major markets like China and Europe, as opposed to a loss in market share to competitors.  This is not the news AMD was hoping for but because at least some of the loss is due to a reduction in sales volume across the marketplace there is still hope for AMD to turn a profit because the gross margins may remain the same.  Heavy cost reduction at AMD could make the difference in profitability in this economic downturn but that is not really a long term solution if they want to remain innovative and profitable.  The Register has the acutal numbers handy here.

amdlogo.jpg

"The bean counters at AMD have done a first pass on the company's second quarter, and it is not looking so good.

The company said in a statement after Wall Street called it a day on Monday that revenues in the second quarter ended in June would fall by approximately 11 per cent sequentially from the first quarter."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register