The 7 Year Console Refresh
The consoles are coming! The consoles are coming! Ok, that is not necessarily true. One is already here and the second essentially is too. This of course brings up the great debate between PCs and consoles. The past has been interesting when it comes to console gaming, as often the consoles would be around a year ahead of PCs in terms of gaming power and prowess. This is no longer the case with this generation of consoles. Cutting edge is now considered mainstream when it comes to processing and graphics. The real incentive to buy this generation of consoles is a lot harder to pin down as compared to years past.
The PS4 retails for $399 US and the upcoming Xbox One is $499. The PS4’s price includes a single controller, while the Xbox’s package includes not just a controller, but also the next generation Kinect device. These prices would be comparable to some low end PCs which include keyboard, mouse, and a monitor that could be purchased from large brick and mortar stores like Walmart and Best Buy. Happily for most of us, we can build our machines to our own specifications and budgets.
As a directive from on high (the boss), we were given the task of building our own low-end gaming and productivity machines at a price as close to that of the consoles and explaining which solution would be superior at the price points given. The goal was to get as close to $500 as possible and still have a machine that would be able to play most recent games at reasonable resolutions and quality levels.
More Details from Lisa Su
The executives at AMD like to break their own NDAs. Then again, they are the ones typically setting these NDA dates, so it isn’t a big deal. It is no secret that Kaveri has been in the pipeline for some time. We knew a lot of the basic details of the product, but there were certainly things that were missing. Lisu Su went up onstage and shared a few new details with us.
Kaveri will be made up of 4 “Steamroller” cores, which are enhanced versions of the previous Bulldozer/Trinity/Vishera families of products. Nearly everything in the processor is doubled. It now has dual decode, more cache, larger TLBs, and a host of other smaller features that all add up to greater single thread performance and better multi-threaded handling and performance. Integer performance will be improved, and the FPU/MMX/SSE unit now features 2 x 128 bit FMAC units which can “fuse” and support AVX 256.
However, there was no mention of the fabled 6 core Kaveri. At this time, it is unlikely that particular product will be launched anytime soon.
Subject: Processors | August 23, 2013 - 03:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: piledriver, FX-9590, amd
Over the last couple of days we had heard rumors about a potential price drop on the 5.0 GHz (Turbo Speed) AMD FX-9590 processor that was released in June. As the week progressed, the likelihood of this being true skyrocketed as several online outlets are showing much lower than expected pricing on the 8-core 220 watt CPU.
Two different UK-based online and retail outlets were showing the FX-9590 for sale for as low as £279 or $434 USD. That is a big price drop from £699 rate ($1008 USD) and obviously is causing quite a stir in the community. This puts the latest entries in the world of AMD FX just above the other parts like the standard FX-8350 in terms of cost which was definitely NOT the case in June or July.
In the US, the FX-9590 is still selling at Newegg as an OEM part but the current price is stuck at $879!
So why all the fuss? AMD claims that these are NOT price drops at AMD's request and that instead are the result of "business to business" negotiations. The official statement from AMD is as follows:
AMD channel partners are able to deliver the AMD FX-9000-series processor, AMD’s fastest and most powerful desktop processor, in highly customized systems and solutions in a manner that provides AMD fans access to the technology. We are excited to see high levels of interest in our AMD FX 9000-series processors, and will continue to work with our valued channel partners to ensure our products are readily available to the enthusiast community.
If you're like me, you don't really take anything interesting away from this statement other than "no comment." So what is really happening?
First, according to AMD the FX-9590 was never intended to be sold as an OEM part and rather was supposed to ship only in pre-built systems from companies like iBuyPower or in bundles that include a motherboard and cooler along with the processor. If these bundles were slow sellers though it seems plausible that the retailers would find ways to expire the bundle program and "accidentally" start selling the processors alone. Based on photos from ReviewBros that appears to be the case.
Photo source: ReviewBros
In reality though, this is the pricing that we would have liked to see the FX-9590 ship at originally and the first sets of reviews (that we were not included on) might have been much more positive. At $430 USD the FX-9590 competes with the higher end Core i7 Haswell processors in terms of performance but obviously uses quite a bit more power to get there.
If you are interested in buying a bundle or a system with the FX-9590 I do expect there to be some updates to pricing from all of the same system builders that launched with the processor originally to reflect these "business to business" happenings. I have already expressed interest to AMD and a couple of boutique builders in reviewing a system with these pricing and placement adjustments.
As for the idea of a "price drop", things are just more complicated than that. AMD tells me that because it was never intended to sell as an OEM part any pricing changes are not a result of AMD's demands. Honestly I don't know why AMD is so opposed to just saying there has been a price drop other than the negative reaction of the initial launch buyers; but that is always the case in the enthusiast market.
Regardless of the verbiage, the fact is that you'll likely be able to find the AMD FX-9590 and its 5.0 GHz Turbo clock rate available at lower prices in systems and on store shelves (though without AMD's consent) for much closer to the actual performance/value they offer. I'll take it.
Subject: Processors | July 19, 2013 - 04:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vishera, TWKR, piledriver, FX-9590, Centurion, amd
As we have been discussing the 220W TDP 5GHz AMD FX-9590 recently it seems a good idea to show what level of performance you can expect from this chip. Hardware Canucks had a chance to benchmark the performance of this chip using both synthetic benchmarks and some gaming tests. When they tried to overclock the chip they ran into difficulties with not only heat, as you would expect but they also ran into an issue with power, they maxed out the amount that the board could provide. Single thread performance is not up to par with SandyBridge-E but in properly designed multi-threaded programs the performance is impressive, though perhaps not for an $800+ chip.
"With the FX-9590, AMD has taken their Piledriver architecture and pushed it to the absolute limit. By running at an astounding 5GHz, this new CPU is the fastest in the FX-series stable."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD FX9590 @ Kitguru
- AMD A10-6800 and A10-6700 'Richland' APU @ eTeknix
- Desktop CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- 48 desktop and 66 mobile processors tested in Cinebench 11.5 @ Hardware.info
- Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Processor Review @ Techgage
Subject: Systems | July 16, 2013 - 01:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vishera, TWKR, piledriver, FX-9590, FX-9370, Centurion, amd
If you are looking for an AMD system you can really brag about then the arrival of FX-9590 powered systems at popular retailers like NCIX and system builders like Puget Sound and CyberPower. Clocked at 5GHz stock it is the highest frequency consumer CPU on the market and as long as you can tame the 220W TDP you might be able to take the chip even higher. Not every retailer has listed their new systems at the time of posting but right now you can pick up a GENESIS system from Origin that sports a watercooled FX-9590 and depending on your choices the GPU(s) can be watercooled as well.
Velocity Micro also has a system ready for purchase and the Gamer Scorpius 9500 from Cyberpower will be ready in the very near future. As you are unlikely to see these CPUs for sale in retail boxes this may be your only chance to get a hold of one of these chips. The prices of the systems will vary widely depending on what components you want inside but keep in mind that you are buying a completely build and thoroughly tested machine with a warranty so don't dismiss these systems without comparing the pricing to what you would pay to build a machine yourself.
Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 04:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vishera, piledriver, FX-9590, FX-9370, Centurion, amd
The Tech Report managed to get some more information out of AMD about the new FX-9000 series that the net has been buzzing about. We now have confirmation that the base clocks for the FX-9590 and FX-9370 are 4.7GHz and 4.4GHz. They also confirmed that 220W TFP is relatively accurate which will make these the hottest chips on the market. While you won't see these chips officially for sale outside of specially built systems, there is a chance a few might pop up on eBay and if you are curious how they might perform there is a link in The Tech Report's article to an overclocked Vishera which will give you a rough idea.
"On Tuesday, AMD introduced its new FX-9000-series processors. The company quoted their peak Turbo speeds (5GHz for the FX-9590, 4.7GHz for the FX-9370) and a rough time frame for availability ("this summer"), but it revealed little else. We were left wondering about base clocks, power envelopes, and potential retail availability."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dummy batteries let you use an AC adapter @ Hack a Day
- AMD's Seamicro SM15000 server gets Red Hat Openstack certification @ The Inquirer
- AVG buys remote monitoring player LPI Level Platforms @ The Register
- Notebook ODMs bracing for price war @ DigiTimes
- Red Hat: We do clouds at one third the cost of VMware @ The Register
- ASUS RT-AC66U 802.11ac Wireless-AC1750 Router Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Processors | June 11, 2013 - 11:13 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: vishera, TWKR, piledriver, FX-9590, FX-9370, Centurion, amd
We have all heard the rumors, but it appears to be true. We had originally heard about a “Centurion” product which would be for extreme overclockers on the AMD side, running at 5 GHz with a 220 watt TDP. Now we finally get to see what all the fuss is about. AMD is releasing two new Vishera based processors that, for the time being, will be limited to system integrators and will be available later this summer.
The top end product is the FX-9590 which has a top turbo speed of 5 GHz. This will be a full four module implementation with the 8 MB of L3 cache. AMD did not give any other details for this particular part. We do not know what the base clock is, we do not know what the TDP is, and we can only assume that the northbridge/L3 cache will be clocked at the standard 2.2 GHz that we have seen on previous Vishera parts.
The second product is the FX-9370 which is again a four module part that has a top turbo speed of 4.7 GHz. Remember that the four modules each have two “cores”, so it is still considered an eight core part. These processors are unlocked, so they can be further overclocked if one so desires. TDP and other details were again skipped for this particular part.
These parts will be going to system integrators first, and I am not entirely sure that AMD will sell them on the market direct to consumers. If AMD does in fact sell to consumers (not implied at all in the press release) then they likely will have to bundle it with a very robust cooler. Probably something along the lines of what we saw with the original FX-8150 LCS bundle.
Consider that the FX-8350 is a 4 GHz base clock product with a max turbo of 4.2 GHz and having a TDP of 125 watts, we probably have to assume that the 220 watt number bandied about is accurate. A pretty beefy air cooler would be required, or the aforementioned liquid cooling system. AMD also likely had GLOBALFOUNDRIES change the “mix” when fabricating these parts. These batches probably feature more leaky transistors that can achieve higher speeds without an extreme amount of voltage.
This is an interesting move by AMD. Remember those TWKR chips that they released that were designed for LN2 use? There were a very limited number of those units, and we can imagine that while the FX-9000 series will be in greater numbers they still will not be commonplace on the retail market. SI’s like Maingear will be introducing systems this summer featuring these chips. Performance will be good with these solutions, but the tradeoff is of course power consumption and heat production as compared to similarly performing (and stock clocked) Intel i7 3770K and 4770K parts.
AMD is doing their best to address the enthusiast market, but until Kaveri hits the streets we will not see any major upgrades beyond these parts.
We received some further info about this chip. The TDP is up in the 220 watt region. It utilizes Turbo Core 3.0 to help achieve those speeds, so it seems that some of the work that went into Richland has made it into these latest FX processors. BIOS updates are probably a must. These chips will only be going to system integrators (SIs) and will be bundled with a liquid cooling system. We have no idea what the price will be since these will only be sold to SIs. Systems should be available after July 16.
Subject: Processors | June 5, 2013 - 04:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VLIW4, trinity, Richland, piledriver, fm2, APU, amd, a10, 6800K, 6700
Richland is here, in the form of the A10-6800K with a 4.1GHz base clock and 4.4GHz Turbo clock, support for DDR3-2133 and an improved GPU called the 8670D with 384 shaders and a 844MHz clock speed ... all for $142! Computationally you can compare it to a Core i3 or a slower Core i5 but graphically this CPU is head and shoulders above the competition as you can see in X-Bit Labs' testing. You really need to keep the price in mind, as it may not provide as much power as a Core-i5 it costs about half as much which can mean a lot to someone on a tight budget, especially when they can skip purchasing a discrete GPU altogether.
Make sure to check out Josh's reivew where he contrasts the last few generations of AMD chips.
"AMD decided to refresh their Socket FM2 platform and release a new generation of hybrid processors for it based on Richland design. This is exactly the one that earned the “Elite Performance APU Platform” title in the mobile segment."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Elite A-Series A10-6800K APU (Socket FM2) @ techPowerUp
- AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 APU Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Richland APU Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 Richland APU Review @ OCC
- AMD A10-6800K / A10-6700 @ Hardware.info
- AMD A10-6800K and 6700 A-Series "Richland" Processor Review @ HiTech Legion
- AMD A10-6800K APU Richland Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
- AMD Richland APU - Release Day Coverage @ Overclockers.com
- AMD Richland Desktop Review; A10-6800K & A10-6700 Benchmarked @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD A10-6800K and A4-4000 Richland APU @ TechSpot
- Intel Core i7-4770K @ Legion Hardware
- Choosing a Gaming CPU at 1440p: Adding in Haswell @ AnandTech
- Intel Core i7-4770K CPU Review. Intel Haswell for Desktops: Ruin of Our Hopes? @ X-bit Labs
Trinity... but Better!
Richland. We have been hearing this name for a solid nine months. Originally Richland was going to be a low end Trinity model that was budget oriented (or at least that was the context we heard it in). Turns out Richland is something quite different, though the product group does extend all the way from the budget products up to mainstream prices. We have seen both AMD and Intel make speed bin updates throughout the years with their products, but that seems like it is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, AMD is refreshing their Trinity product in a pretty significant matter. It is not simply a matter of binning these chips up a notch.
Trinity was released last Fall and it was a solid product in terms of overall performance and capabilities. It was well worth the price that AMD charged, especially when compared to Intel processors that would often be significantly slower in terms of graphics. The “Piledriver” architecture powers both Trinity and Richland, and it is an improved version of the original “Bulldozer” architecture. Piledriver included some small IPC gains, but the biggest advantage given was in terms of power. It is a much more power efficient architecture that can be clocked higher than the original Bulldozer parts. Trinity turned out to be a power sipping part for both mobile and desktop. In ways, it helped to really keep AMD afloat.
It turns out there were still some surprises in store from Trinity, and they have only been exposed by the latest Richland parts. AMD is hoping to keep in front of Intel in terms of graphics performance and compatibility, even in the face of the latest Haswell parts. While AMD has not ported over GCN to the Trinity/Richland lineup, the VLIW4 unit present in the current parts is still very competitive. What is perhaps more important, the software support for both 3D applications and GPGPU is outstanding.
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2013 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Steamroller, piledriver, Kaveri, Kabini, hUMA, hsa, GCN, bulldozer, APU, amd
AMD may have united GPU and CPU into the APU but one hurdle had remained until now, the the non-uniformity of memory access between the two processors. Today we learned about one of the first successful HAS projects called Heterogeneous Uniform Memory Access, aka hUMA, which will appear in the upcoming Kaveri chip family. The use of this new technology will allow the on-die CPU and GPU to access the same memory pool, both physical and virtual and any data passed between the two processors will remain coherent. As The Tech Report mentions in their overview hUMA will not provide as much of a benefit to discrete GPUs, while they will be able to share address space the widely differing clock speeds between GDDR5 and DDR3 prevent unification to the level of an APU.
Make sure to read Josh's take as well so you can keep up with him on the Podcast.
"At the Fusion Developer Summit last June, AMD CTO Mark Papermaster teased Kaveri, AMD's next-generation APU due later this year. Among other things, Papermaster revealed that Kaveri will be based on the Steamroller architecture and that it will be the first AMD APU with fully shared memory.
Last week, AMD shed some more light on Kaveri's uniform memory architecture, which now has a snazzy marketing name: heterogeneous uniform memory access, or hUMA for short."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD’s new heterogeneous Uniform Memory Access
- hUMA; AMD’s Heterogeneous Unified Memory Architecture @ Hardware Canucks
- Compro TN50W Cloud Network Camera @ Tweaktown
- Wifi Pineapple project uses updated hardware for man-in-the-middle attacks @ Hack a Day
- New OpenWRT Drops Support For Linux 2.4, Low-Mem Devices @ Slashdot
- HP mashes up ProLiant, Integrity, BladeSystem, and Moonshot server @ The Register
- Acer selling tablet using Intel Y series processor @ The Register
- CERN Celebrates 20 Years of an Open Web (and Rebuilds 1st Web Page) @ Slashdot
- BitFenix 5K YouTube Subscriber Giveaway @ eTeknix
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