AMD Announces New Sub-$100 Triple Core A6-3500 APU

Subject: Processors | August 17, 2011 - 09:03 AM |
Tagged: APU, amd radeon, amd, A6-3500

AMD announced today a new desktop APU (Accelerated Processing Unit). The A6-3500 processor combines three x86 CPU cores with 320 Radeon GPU cores. The new A6-3500 APU comes with a full sweep of AMD technology, including Turbo Core, Steady Video image stabilization technology, DDR3 1333 support, HDCP compatibility, and AMD VISION Engine software. Following its predecessors, the new three core APU is able to pair with select AMD Radeon HD 6000 series discrete graphics cards.

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This FM1 socket awaits an A Series APU like the new A6-3500

The three core APU operates at 2.1GHz (2.4GHz with Turbo Boost active) on the CPU side and 444MHz on the GPU side of things. Further, the APU features 3MB of L2 cache, a TDP of 65 watts, and is designed for use with FM1 motherboards.

The APU is now available for purchase at various online retailers and system builders with an MSRP of $95 USD. AMD states that the processor “delivers a compelling, affordable desktop experience for consumers and gamers.”

At under a $100, the new APU is an attractive option for HTPC usage and starter gaming systems on a tight budget. For more information on AMD’s APU architecture, can check out PC Perspective’s AMD A8-3850 APU review here.

Source: AMD

AMD Considers Bundling FX Processors With Sealed Loop Water Coolers (LCS)

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | August 12, 2011 - 11:53 PM |
Tagged: amd, FX, octocore, water cooling, sealed loop, LCS, hsf

According to Xbit Labs, AMD is considering switching out the usual air cooler (HSF) for a sealed loop liquid cooling solution (LCS) for its high end FX Processors. Specifically, AMD wants to pair their highest end eight core processor (and possibly the next highest end eight core chip) with the sealed loop liquid cooling solution. This information, they believe, comes from a “source with knowledge of the company’s plans.”

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If you are not familiar with the sealed loop water coolers, PC Perspective reviewed the Corsair H70 processor cooler last year and it is a good example. Sealed loop water coolers are similar to the large DIY water cooling loops comprised of a large radiator, copper CPU block, pump, and reservoir all connected in a loop by tubing; however, they usually have smaller radiators and pumps as well as coolant that cannot be refilled (and should not have to be).  This coolant carries heat away from the processor to be dissipated through a radiator.  Corsair in particular has heavily invested in this once very niche product with it’s H series of coolers.

Traditionally, both Intel and AMD have been content in pairing their chips with mid-range but cheap air coolers that did a decent job of keeping the processors within their thermal limits at stock speeds. Enthusiasts, and especially those interested in overclocking, have generally ditched the included cooler in favor of a more powerful and/or quieter aftermarket cooler. Needless to say, including a cooler, especially with high end chips that will likely go to enthusiasts, that’s never even used only serves to add additional unnecessary cost for both consumers and the manufacturer. Thus, this move to bundle a more powerful sealed loop water cooler with its high end chips may be an attempt by AMD to futher appeal to enthusiasts and keep with their traditional image of being friendly to overclockers and hardware enthusiasts. Having and using a water cooler that is supported by the chip maker certainly doesn’t hurt, especially if it ever came down to warranty and RMA situations. On the other hand, enthusiasts can be very picky about which cooler to use in their systems; therefore, bundling a cooler that is sure to add even more extra cost to the package may not be the right move for AMD. At best, consumers are likely to see an extra $50 or so added to the sure to be pricey highest end eight core chips.

Their idea, if true, surely has merit, but is it wise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: Xbit Labs

Carmack Speaks

Last week we were in Dallas, Texas covering Quakecon 2011 as well as hosting our very own PC Perspective Hardware Workshop.  While we had over 1100 attendees at the event and had a blast judging the case mod contest, one of the highlights of the event is always getting to sit down with John Carmack and pick his brain about topics of interest.  We got about 30 minutes of John's time over the weekend and pestered him with questions about the GPU hardware race, how Intel's intergrated graphics (and AMD Fusion) fit in the future of PCs, the continuing debate about ray tracing, rasterization, voxels and infinite detail engines, key technologies for PC gamers like multi-display engines and a lot more!

One of our most read articles of all time was our previous interview with Carmack that focused a lot more on the ray tracing and rasterization debate.  If you never read that, much of it is still very relevant today and is worth reading over. 

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This year though John has come full circle on several things including ray tracing, GPGPU workloads and even the advantages that console hardware has over PC gaming hardware.

Continue reading to see the full video interview and our highlights from it!!

Podcast #165 - QuakeCon 2011, MSI's GTX580 Lightning, Intel 710 SSDs, Ultrabooks and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 11, 2011 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: podcast, pcper, nvidia, msi, Intel, GTX580, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #165 - 8/11/2011

This week we talk about QuakeCon 2011, MSI's GTX580 Lightning, Intel 710 SSDs, Ultrabooks 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 Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:25:12

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:27 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. 0:02:02 Quakecon 2011 and our Workshop - Postmortem
    1. Day 1 Coverage
    2. Day 2 Coverage
    3. Day 3 Coverage
  6. 0:18:05 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  7. 0:18:54 MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition Review: What a GTX 580 Should Be
  8. 0:30:18 Antec High Current Gamer HCG-750 PSU Review
  9. 0:31:30 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review - The Best Android Tablet?
  10. 0:32:16 Just Delivered Exclusive: PNY XLR8 Liquid Cooled GTX 580 Combo
    1. ZOTAC Unveils Water-Cooling Solutions
  11. 0:36:40 Let us do some math, shall we? The cost of consoles
  12. 0:41:46 Intel 710 SSD Prices Leaked
  13. 0:47:40 ExpressCard trying to pull a (not so) fast one?
  14. 0:55:30 NVIDIA Outlines Multi-GPU and Cloud Graphics With Project Maximus and Virtual Graphics Technologies
  15. 1:06:50 Will Intel's Ultrabook form factor come with an integral Achilles Heel?
    1. Intel bets $300m on their Ultrabook-ie. Next step: broken legs.
  16. 1:09:15 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Blackmagic Intensity card 
    2. Jeremy: Strangely, I find myself thinking kindly upon BigFoot Networks
    3. Josh: http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm
    4. Allyn: http://pastebin.com and Ghostery
  17. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  18. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  19. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  20. 1:23:50 Closing
Source:

ECS Announces Three New A55 Based AMD Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | August 9, 2011 - 03:42 PM |
Tagged: motherboard, ECS, APU, amd, A55

According to Tech Connect, ECS is about to release three ECS FM1 motherboards powered by the lighter A55 chipset to compliment the company’s higher end A75 boards. The new A55 based motherboards will be known as the A55F-A, A55F-M2, and the A55F-M3, the first being ATX and the remaining two boards being micro-ATX.

ECSA55F-A.jpg

The new motherboards will support AMD’s A Series APUs and will feature one PCI-E x16 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, and one VGA connection. The standard ATX sized A55F-A will further have four DDR3 DIMM slots, five SATA II 3Gb/s ports, 12 USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI and DVI video connectors. The A55F-M2 on the other hand with receive two DDR3 DIMM slots, six SATA 3Gb/s ports, 12 USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI and optional DVI connections. Lastly, the A55F-M3 has two DDR3 DIMM slots, four SATA 3Gb/s ports, and eight USB 2.0 ports.

More photos of the new boards can be seen here. Price and availability of the new A55 chipset motherboards have not yet been released.

Source: Tech Connect

AMD will be snubbing the smartphone

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2011 - 12:30 PM |
Tagged: amd, tablet, smartphones, trinity

In a revent interview, AMD's SVP and GM, Rick Bergman restated that AMD has no current plans in the works to jump to the handheld market.  They will continue to focus on their current product lines and that the only ultramobile development currently underway is for tablets.  That could help them get a leg up on Intel's Atom, as Intel is definitely making a move for the hand held market.  Focusing on tablets gives them a less strict power limitation and may just give them a boost as they push to the 28nm process with only one ultra low power Trinity APU product line to design.  Check out The Inquirer for more.

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"CHIP DESIGNER AMD has ruled out making a move in the smartphone market, preferring to concentrate on tablets.

Rick Bergman, SVP and GM of AMD's products group told a conference that the chip designer has no plans to get into the smartphone market, saying that its expertise in graphics does not suit that market. Instead it will be up to AMD's Z-series embedded chip to push X86 into the tablet market."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

AMD Accelerates APU OpenCL Performance With New SDK

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 8, 2011 - 05:28 PM |
Tagged: amd, APU, sdk, opencl

AMD released its new APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit) to the masses, and now they are revving the processors up with a new software development kit that increases performance and efficiency of OpenCL based applications. The new version 2.5 APP SDK is tailored to the APU architecture where the CPU and GPU are on the same die. Building on the OpenCL standard, APP SDK 2.5 promises to reduce the bandwidth limitation of the CPU to GPU connection, allowing for effective data transfer rates as high as 15GB per second in AMDs A Series APUs. Further performance enhancements include reduced kernel launch times and PCIe overhead.

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AMD states that the new APP SDK will improve multi-gpu support for AMD APU graphics paired with a discrete card, and will “enable advanced capabilities” to improve the user experience including gesture based interfaces, image stabilization, and 3D applications.

The new development kit is currently being used by developers worldwide in the AMD OpenCl coding competition, where up to $50,000 in prizes will be given away to winning software submissions. You can get started with the SDK here.

Source: AMD

AMD To Release 2GB DDR3 Radeon Branded DIMMs

Subject: Memory | August 8, 2011 - 09:38 AM |
Tagged: radeon, memory, ddr3, amd

When building a computer, enthusiasts are likely to combine components from several different manufacturers, especially on the Intel side.  Short of the power supply, hard drive, and accessories; however, AMD is slowing diversifying to provide components to put together an all-AMD system.  Before today, AMD already had the motherboard, processor, and graphics card (including processor graphics if that's your thing), and today Maximum PC reports that AMD may be moving into the RAM market with its own line of Radeon branded memory.  It seems that AMD's future Leo-like platform may resemble a small AMD branded borg cube.

50094_Chip_frontand_Back228W.png

The new memory in question is comprised of 2GB, DDR3 sticks and comes in three series branded the "Entertainment," "ULTRA PRO Gaming," and "Enterprise."  The enthusiastic naming conventions aside, the Entertainment series looks to be the budget modules for those looking for stable DIMMs that get the job done for cheap.  They have a rated speed of 1333Mbps and a CAS latency of 9-9-9.  The next highest series is the "ULTRA PRO Gaming" series, which promises to be overclocking friendly.  These DIMMs receive a slight boost in speed to 1600Mbps while taking a slight dip in CAS latency to 11-11-11.  The final, and likely most expensive, modules are the Enterprise series.  These modules are still somewhat of a mystery as the specifications have yet to be announced by AMD; however, they are likely geared more towards enterprise workstations than servers as they are unbuffered DIMMs.

Further, all three series are rated to run at 1.5V and have a height of 30mm.  Unfortunately, there is no word yet on price or availability.  There are; however, several photos of Radeon branded memory modules over at PC Watch for you to check out.  Do you think AMD's move to enter the DRAM market is a good thing or a bad thing for future profitability?

Source: AMD

John Carmack Interview: Question and Topic suggestions?

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards, Processors | August 4, 2011 - 08:15 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, john carmack, interview, carmack, amd

A couple of years back we talked on the phone with John Carmack during the period of excitement about ray tracing and game engines.  That interview is still one of our most read articles on PC Perspective as he always has interesting topics and information to share.  While we are hosting the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop on Saturday at Quakecon 2011, we also scheduled some time to sit with John again to pick his brain on hardware and technology.

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If you had a chance to ask John Carmack questions about hardware and technology, either the current sets of each or what he sees coming in the future, what would you ask?  Let us know in our comments section below!! (No registration required to comment.)

Source: PCPer

Looking at the lower end of AMD's graphics, Caicos and Turks

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 3, 2011 - 01:28 PM |
Tagged: HD 6670, HD 6570, HD 6450, amd, Caicos, turks

On the lower end of AMD's GPU lineup you will find the HD 6670, HD 6570 and HD 6450 of which the first two are based on the Turks architecture and the last on the Caicos architecture.  They mark a jump in transitor, shader and ALU counts from the previous low end cards, the HD5670 and HD 5450.  That increase has also brough with it higher power requirements and more heat to disappate which, at least on the reference cards X-bit Labs tried, results in a louder card.  They do still help a Llano based system score significantly better in gaming, but don't add a lot to the APUs abilities as a high definition player.

If you are looking for something a little stronger, Josh just poured out a few thousand words on the MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition for you.

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"Smartphones, nettops, notebooks and tablets have taken over our everyday life. But what if you don’t feel like leaving the cozy living-room and would gladly watch a blockbuster Blue-ray movie or play your favorite game for a few hours? The answer is simple: HTPC with a good graphics accelerator inside will do the trick. Let’s check out the new solutions AMD has recently rolled out for this particular market."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: X-bit Labs