Meet Hondo, AMD's soon to arrive 2W TDP Brazos chip for tablets ... and Apache servers?

Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2011 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, ontario, low power, hondo, brazos, APU, amd

Thanks to a leak from AMD, we have new information on their plans for tablets and ultra mobile platforms.  Hondo will be a member of Brazos-T, the planned improvement to the current low power version of Brazos which goes by the name of Desna.  This is not so much a new chip as a refining of Brazos and the Ontario APU, the 1GHz APU will still be made on a 40nm process and sport a DirectX 11 GPU at 276MHz also optimized for lower power consumption and heat production.  The Hudson controller is also being tweaked in the same way, with the chipset's TDP sitting at 1W compared to the ~4W the APU will consume.  It should be capable of playing 720p videos at that power setting, though you can expect a bit more power draw if you are streaming the movie wirelessly.  You can read more about the future of the new fanless APU from AMD at The Inquirer.

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Image from donanimhaber

"CHIP DESIGNER AMD is planning to refresh its Brazos platform in time for Microsoft's Windows 8.

AMD launched its Brazos platform last year, though actual products tipped up earlier this year featuring a dual core processor and a DirectX 11 GPU. However with Windows 8 coming out in 2012, it is a little surprising that leaked slides point to AMD planning a refresh of Brazos, codenamed Hondo. According to the slides, Hondo is designed to operate with passive cooling, and have 2W "app power" usage, about half that of the current Brazos chips."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #160 - Lenovo ThinkPad X1, OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2, Crysis 2 DX11 update, Llano preview and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2011 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: podcast, X1, Thinkpad, revodrive, ocz, nvidia, llano, Lenovo, Intel, dx11, crysis 2, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #160 - 6/30/2011

This week we talk about the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2, Crysis 2 DX11 update, Llano preview 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: 57:49

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:45 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. 0:02:16 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Review: Thin is In
  6. 0:03:08 Samsung Nexus S 4G Review: Google Bliss.
  7. 0:05:04 Super Fast PCI Express Cable Capable of 32 Gbps Announced By The PCI SIG
  8. 0:08:37 OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 480GB PCIe SSD Review - Seriously Fast Storage
  9. 0:24:23 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  10. 0:25:00 Crysis 2: DirectX 11 free update released
  11. 0:31:45 NVIDIA Releases GeForce GTX 580M and 570M, Brings Optimus to Hardcore Gaming Laptops
  12. 0:34:10 Badaboom, the once NVIDIA only transcoding accelerator, now works with Sandy Bridge
  13. 0:38:40 Llano's dance card is available, pick a date with your favourite new AMD APU tomorrow
  14. 0:41:05 Just Delivered: Cost effective AM3+ Boards.
  15. 0:42:30 Show and tell: Llano CPU and MB
  16. 0:44:26 Free games?
    1. http://www.pcper.com/news/General-Tech/Meet-Medic-Uber-Update-and-TF2-itself-are-freed
  17. 0:48:20 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
  18. 0:50:45 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Bitcoins?  Ken is testing a LOT of GPUs for this!
    2. Jeremy: I guess I'll shout out to Might & Magic entertaining me for 25 SMEGGING YEARS!
    3. Josh: Eyefinity!  It is a lot of fun.  Surprising capabilities from many modern applications.  Even a lot of older ones...
    4. Allyn: RevoDrive 3!
  19. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  20. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  21. 0:56:35 Closing

 

Source:

You seen the processor, now check out the socket FM1 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | June 30, 2011 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: fm1, llano, ASUS F1A75-M Pro, amd, a8-3850, lynx

Along with the arrival of the A series of Llano processors comes socket FM1 motherboards and the AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset.  Legit Reviews focused on the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard, which supports dual channel RAM and has three PCIe slots, a 16x, a 4x and a 1x as well as six SATA 6Gb/s ports which support Raid 0, 1, 10, and JBOD configurations. It also puts the new UEFI BIOS to good use, if you didn't know you were looking at a BIOS you wouldn't recognize it as one.  At a price of $120, this would allow you to pick up an A8-3850 and this motherboard for about the same price as a Core i5 2500k without the motherboard.  Not too shabby.

LR_asus-f1a75-uefi.jpg

"Where the ASUS F1A75-M Pro truly excelled today was the performance of the integrated graphics. Every one of our graphics tests that we compared the Intel HD Graphics 3000 to the AMD A8-3850 with AMD Radeon HD 6550D there was a clear and decisive winner. For our recap of the graphics performance let's start with Total War: Shogun 2 in DirectX 9 mode. The ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull out an average that was 143.4% faster than the Intel system at a resolution of 1280x1024..."

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Motherboards

Buy a cheap graphics card and get a free attached CPU, Llano's mixed results

Subject: Processors | June 30, 2011 - 12:20 PM |
Tagged: lynx, llano, igp, amd, a8-3850, 6550d, 3850

Long story short, the new AMD A8-3850 simply can't compete with Intel's SandyBridge processors as an x86 CPU but as an integrated GPU it is better than anything we or The Tech Report have seen before

The actual story is far more complicated for the Llano true quad core processor.  On the CPU side of the APU equation, it can handle the Core i3-2100 which is it's closest competition on the majority of multithreaded tasks, though it falls behind on single threaded applications.  The price war is also on AMD's side as you would need to pair a discrete GPU with the i3-2100 in order to match the graphics performance.  The other very important are where AMD falls is power consumption; sure at idle it uses very little power but when operating at full speed it consumes almost as much power as an i7-2600.

On the GPU side we see better gaming performance than anything else out there, assuming you stick to DX10 and DX11 games as DX9 games can have some issues with Llano.  That holds especially true of Hybrid Crossfire, as when Ryan paired the A8-3850 with discrete Radeon cards he ran into difficulties in some games.  You can read about that in his full review.

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"AMD's "Llano" APU makes a compelling proposition as a laptop chip, but its position on the desktop is more precarious. Read on to find out why—and whether it can overcome that hurdle."

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Processors

AMD A-Series Desktop Processors Set the APU Bar

Subject: Processors | June 30, 2011 - 10:51 AM |
Tagged: lynx, llano, igp, amd, a8-3850, 6550d, 3850

AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced availability for the AMD Fusion A-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors. The AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors will enable a high- performance experience for desktop users, including brilliant HD graphics, supercomputer-like performance, and incredibly fast application speeds.

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Both the AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors combine four x86 CPU cores with powerful DirectX®11-capable discrete-level graphics, and up to 400 Radeon™ cores along with dedicated HD video processing on a single chip. Only AMD Fusion APUs offer true AMD Dual Graphics, with up to 120 percent visual performance boost*, when paired with select AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series graphics cards. Consumers can achieve supercomputer-like performance of more than 500 gigaflops compute capacity and enjoy rapid content transfers via USB 3.0.

All A-Series processors are powered by AMD VISION Engine Software, which is composed of AMD Catalyst™ graphics driver, AMD OpenCL driver and the AMD VISION Engine Control Center. With this suite of software, users get regular updates designed to improve system performance and stability, and can add new software enhancements.

With a suggested retail price of $135, the AMD A8-3850 desktop processor operates at 2.9GHz (CPU) and 600MHz (GPU) with 400 Radeon™ Cores, 4MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 100W.

The AMD A6-3650 desktop processor has clock speeds of 2.6GHz (CPU) and 443MHz (GPU) with 320 Radeon™ Cores, 4MB of L2 cache and a TDP of 100W. The suggested retail price of the AMD A6-3650 desktop processor is $115.

In an increasingly digital and visually oriented world, consumers demand more responsive multitasking, vivid graphics, lifelike games, lag-free videos, and ultimate multimedia performance. AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors enable these visually stunning end-user experiences.

plat00.jpg

FM1 motherboards for the A-Series APUs are available now from leading original design manufacturers (ODMs), including ASUS, ASRock, Biostar, ECS, Foxconn (Hong Hai Precision), Gigabyte, Jetway, MSI and Sapphire.

AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors are scheduled to be available for purchase through system builders and at major online retailers, including Amazon, CyberPower Inc., iBuyPower, Newegg and TigerDirect beginning July 3, 2011. Additional processors are scheduled to be available later this year.

AMD A8-3850 and A6-3650 desktop processors, and the corresponding FM1 motherboards, were created with desktop consumers and gamers in mind.

Read about the AMD A-Series features and performance here.
Learn about the software advantage with AMD A-Series desktop processors here.

Source: AMD
Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

Architecture Details

Introduction

Just a couple of weeks ago we took the cover off of AMD's Llano processor for the first time in the form of the Sabine platform: Llano's mobile derivative.  In that article we wrote in great detail about the architecture and how it performed on the stage of the notebook market - it looked very good when compared to the Intel Sandy Bridge machines we had on-hand.  Battery life is one of the most important aspects of evaluating a mobile configuration with performance and features taking a back seat the majority of the time.  In the world of the desktop though, that isn't necessarily the case. 

Desktop computers, even those meant for a low-cost and mainstream market, don't find power consumption as crucial and instead focus on the features and performance of your platform almost exclusively.  There are areas where power and heat are more scrutinized such as the home theater PC market and small form-factor machines but in general you need to be sure to hit a homerun with performance per dollar in this field.  Coming into this article we had some serious concerns about Llano and its ability to properly address this specifically. 

How did our weeks with the latest AMD Fusion APU turn out?  There is a ton of information that needed to be addressed including a look at the graphics performance in comparison to Sandy Bridge, how the quad-core "Stars" x86 CPU portion stands up to modern options, how the new memory controller affects graphics performance, Dual Graphics, power consumption and even a whole new overclocking methodology.  Keep reading and you'll get all the answers you are looking for.

Llano Architecture

We spent a LOT of time in our previous Llano piece discussing the technical details of the new Llano Fusion CPU/GPU architecture and the fundamentals are essentially identical from the mobile part to the new desktop releases.  Because of that, much of the information here is going to be a repeat with some minor changes in the forms of power envelopes, etc.  

slide01.jpg

The platform diagram above gives us an overview of what components will make up a system built on the Llano Fusion APU design.  The APU itself is made up 2 or 4 x86 CPU cores that come from the Stars family released with the Phenom / Phenom II processors.  They do introduce a new Turbo Core feature that we will discuss later that is somewhat analogous to what Intel has done with its processors with Turbo Boost.

Continue reading our AMD A-series Llano desktop review for all the benchmarks and information!

Llano's dance card is available, pick a date with your favourite new AMD APU tomorrow

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2011 - 11:29 AM |
Tagged: x79, release, llano, Intel, brazos, APU, amd

DigiTimes has announced that the 32nm Llano we've all be waiting for will be arriving tomorrow with the A75 chipset in tow.  A pair of A8s and a pair of A6's should be available for you over the next few weeks, with a refresh of less powerful A4 APUs set for the Fall/Winter of 2011.  The last quarter will also see AMD flesh out their lineups of A8 and A6 CPUs and the first arrival of the E-series for their Brazos platform. 

You'll have to wait a while longer for Scorpius, it is not scheduled to hit until the beginning of 2012, which means Intel's X79 chipset will be out along with a few new i3 and i5 models and even a new Celeron.

 

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"CPU maker AMD is set to announce its latest 32nm A series APU codenamed Llano on June 30 with motherboard makers including Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) all having announced products based on AMD's A75 chipset, according to sources from motherboard players.

In early July, AMD will initially supply its FM1-based A8-3850, A8-3800, A6-3650 and A6-3600 APUs with A6-3500, A4-3400, A4-3300, A8-3870, A8-3820, A6-3670 and A6-3620 APUs set for launch in the fourth quarter along with E2-3200. In September, AMD will also announce E-450 and E300 for its Brazos platform.

For the high-end Scorpius platform, AMD will announce the AM3+-based FX-8150, FX8100, FX6100 and FX4100 by the end of September with FX8170, FX8120, FX6120 and FX4140 set for the first quarter of 2012.

For chipsets, AMD will launch A75 (Hudson D3) and A55 (Hudson D2) together with its A series APU, and is set to launch a chipset codenamed Hudson D4 in February 2012.

On the other hand, Intel is also prepared to launch its high-end X79 chipset after September along with 11 upgraded CPUs including Core i5-2320, Core i3-2120T, Core i3-2130 and G540.

The sources pointed out that AMD is targeting Llano at the entry-level and mainstream markets, competing mainly against Intel's Core i3 and Pentium, while E-450 and E300 will target Intel's G440, 540 and 530 series."

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Source: DigiTimes

More fun with AMD's new 990FX chipset

Subject: Motherboards | June 27, 2011 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: Sabertooth, asus, amd, 990fx

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX is not a ROG board as you might expect, instead it bears a logo describing it as a member of "THE ULTIMATE FORCE" aka TUF.  This AM3+ board still features some serious extras, from TUF components and MemOK as well as DIGI+ VRM which denotes an 8+2 power phases on the board and the ability to run 2 of it's 3 PCIe slots at a full 16x simultaneously.  Legit Reviews used the Phenom II X6 1100T BE to power the system during their testing as we are still awaiting the release of the AM3+ CPUs from AMD.  From their testing this $200 board takes top spot, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbp/s performance were significantly ahead of the 890FX board they compared the Sabertooth to, making this a worthy upgrade for AMD users.

LR_ASUS_sabertooth.jpg

"ASUS hit the mark with the Sabertooth 990FX! The Sabertooth 990FX was able to dig its teeth into everything we threw at it and be the dominant force in the charts! If you're in the market for a motherboard the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX should be at the top of your short list..."

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Motherboards

Asus Announces New Feature Rich F1A75 Motherboard Series For Llano APUs

Subject: Motherboards | June 24, 2011 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: llano, cpu, asus, APU, amd

Asus today launched a new AMD focused F1A75 motherboard series, which the company claims is designed to optimize the performance of AMD’s Llano APUs. Equipped with such Asus features as Dual Intelligent Processors 2 (DIP2), DIGI+ Voltage Regulator Modules, auto-overclocking features, and a UEFI BIOS the new motherboards are packed with features and ready to be paired with a socket FM1 AMD processor thanks to the A75 chipset.  

The most noticeable end-user feature in the new motherboard series will be the UEFI BIOS which does away with the old-school DOS look in favor of a sleek graphical interface that can be navigated via a touchscreen or a mouse (in addition to the obligatory keyboard input).  Further, beyond the EZ mode and auto-tuning functions, it will allow overclockers to enter an Advanced mode to tweak their settings to get the highest overclock possible, and then save screen captures to a thumb drive by pressing the F12 key.

More specifically, the F1A75-V EVO model features the FM1 processor socket as well as two PCI-Express x8 slots for CrossFireX support in addition to native support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps standards.

The new boards should be available shortly at your favorite retailer(s).  Be sure to stay tuned to PC Perspective for Llano desktop APU benchmarks.

Source: Asus

Powercolor's take on the ultimate HD6970

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 24, 2011 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: powercolor, amd, HD6970, factory overclocked

Head over to [H]ard|OCP to meet the PowerColor PCS+ Radeon HD 6970 with a 60MHz bump on the CPU to 940MHz and memory of 1425MHz which is a 50MHz bump, along with an improved cooler.  They also added some extras to the back of the card, a dual-link DVI-I port, a single-link DVI-I port, one HDMI port, and two mini-DisplayPort jacks which will make setting up EyeFinity a breeze.  The boosted speed helped in overcoming the GTX 570  in almost every single benchmark, pity that the same can be said of the price as it costs more than NVIDIA's card and doesn't surpass it in performance enough to justify the increased cost.

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"PowerColor's highest-end Radeon HD 6970 is on our test bench today. The PCS+ Radeon HD 6970 has a respectable out-of-the-box overclock, a custom cooler, and a free game, but does it offer value for its price premium?"

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Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP