Intel Releases New Cedar Trail Atom Processors

Subject: Processors | December 28, 2011 - 07:15 PM |
Tagged: pine trail, netbook, Intel, cedar trail, atom, 32nm

Intel has been pumping out quite a few new processors lately, with new Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, a new Sandy Bridge i7 2700K processor coming out, and now a new line of Atom CPUs sneaking in the news right before the new year!  Not to mention, they are also working on Ivy Bridge.

The new Atom CPUs are of the Cedar Trail variety and succeed the older Pine Trail-M Atom processors.  Currently, there are three Cedar Trail chips that will be available as soon as January in OEM systems including the N2600, N2800, and D2700 CPUs.  Further, the new chips are 32nm and have a 22x22mm package size.  These little chips are destined to power netbooks, tablets, embedded devices (think medical devices, ruggedized tablets, machinery).  Yes, Intel still believes in netbooks, and feels as though emerging markets will keep the market alive and growing as people want for cheap computers that are able to get them on the web.  While the netbook is losing popularity in the US, Intel expects the South American, Eastern European, and African markets to see great interest in the netbook platform.  Their netbook plans involve three price tiers with accompanying use cases including netbooks at $200 with minimal features and a price to match that enables people to access the web all the way to $400+ netbooks with lots of features that would fill out the market up to where the Ultrabook territory begins at around $900.

Intel_Netbook_Outlook.png

The new Cedar Trail processors improve upon the previous gen Atom chips by quite a bit, according to Intel.  The graphics aspect in particular has been improved such that 1080p HD Youtube and HD Netflix streams are playable at at least 24 FPS.  Something that early netbooks using Intel's integrated graphics will never be able to do.  Intel further estimates a 50% lower TDP and a 28% processor performance increase over the Pine Trail chips.  Further, the new Cedar Trail chips have more cache at 2 x 512 L2 cache(s), higher clockspeeds, lower TDP, higher C-State (C6 vs C4E)/lower power usage in sleep mode, a 200MHz higher clocked graphics card (400MHz vs 200 MHz), and increased memory speeds (DDR3 800 and 1066 vs DDR3-667).  The fastest Nxx chip, the N2800 manages a .2GHz clock speed increase while also knocking off 2 watts from the TDP versus the previous top N570.

Needless to say, Cedar Trail is looking very good, on paper at least.  The individual chip specifications are listed below.

  CPU Clock Speed Graphics Clock Speed TDP
N2600 1.60 GHz 400 MHz 3.5 W
N2800 1.86 GHz 640 MHz 6.5 W
D2700 2.10 GHz 640 MHz 10 W

What are your thoughts on the new Cedar Trail chips, do you think they will provide enough "oomph" to make new netbooks desirable again?  Some more information can be found here and straight from Intel here.

Intel_PineTrail_vs_CedarTrail.png

Atom cannibalizes our market! Move it to someone else’s!

Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 28, 2011 - 02:33 AM |
Tagged: intel atom, Intel, atom

Intel’s Atom processors were created as a tier below their Celeron product line. Netbooks, then running VIA Nano processors, have started to gain popularity since their introduction in late 2007. Intel’s Atom processors took the place of the VIA parts since that time. In 2009, Intel has stated that they have seen approximately twenty percent of their sales of notebook processors replaced with sales of their cheaper Atom processors. Intel still maintains the Atom processor line, but apparently with new goals in mind.

atom.png

Up and ATOM!!!

According to Digitimes, the demand for Intel’s Atom processors has declined recently. Intel, in response, decided to market that tier of parts to embedded and server customers for use in network-attached storage devices and very low-end servers. Intel is also rumored to have plans to shrink the process size of Atom in 2013 to 22nm and again shrink process size to 14nm in 2014. The upcoming 32nm Atom processor is expected by the second quarter of 2012.

Source: Digitimes

Intel Medfield x86 SoC Targets Android Phones and Tablets

Subject: Processors, Mobile | December 26, 2011 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: Intel, Medfield, Android, x86, SoC

Intel hopes that 2012 will finally be the year they see mainstream phones with Intel inside.  Despite Intel's attempts to tell us otherwise for the past several generations, the upcoming Medfield design is the first truly serious attempt to enter the phone and tablet market currently dominated by the many ARM-based partners of phone manufacturers all over the world.  A recent post over at Technology Review discussed the advantages that Medfield offers over previous Intel Atom-based designs with Steve Smith, Intel's VP of Architecture.

First shown at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this past September, a Medfield-based reference design has many believing in what some thought was impossible but what others thought was inevitable: Intel x86 cores in a phone that matters.  Why the change from many in the analyst space?  Medfield is the first option from Intel that is truly a single-chip solution, removing design space concerns and power consumption issues that previous Atom-architecture solutions were saddled with. 

intel_phone_x616.jpg

Intel showed Technology Review the Android-based reference phone running Gingerbread.

The phone prototype seen by Technology Review was similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter, probably because the case was made with more plastic and less glass and metal. It was running the version of Google's operating system shipping with most Android phones today, known as Gingerbread; a newer version, Ice Cream Sandwich, was released by Google only about a month ago.

Intel has a lot of experience in the consumer markets though it took a shift inside the company to really put the focus on phones and tablets over netbooks and convertible-notebooks.  At the recent showing not only did they have the reference design phone but also an iPad-like tablet device running Ice Cream Sandwich, another key to the consumer's dollar.  And as you can clearly see in the diagram below, there is a lot of money being made that Intel wants in on.  A LOT.

intel_phone_chart.jpg

Source: Technology Review, IDC

Intel will also enjoy a process technology advantage over the competition with current Medfield SoCs built on the company's internal 32nm process and the upcoming 22nm technology promises even more power consumption advantanges.  ARM designs are built at different foundries including Samsung and TSMC and while they are competitive, no one can keep up with Intel on this front. 

Anandtech also had some interesting information to share from an investor conference earlier this month about the power consumption and performance levels of Medfield. 

intel_phone_power.png

Source: Anandtech.com

The diagram shows that power consumption on Medfield should be competitive with the current ARM-based SoC leaders in the market today.  Areas like 3G standby, basic audio playback and video playback should be accomplished with minimal power draw in order to have battery life extended to at least current expectations.  The performance graphs here on Browser Mark and "Graphics" are impressive as well though obviously we have a TON of missing information to really make the graph meaningful.  Anand puts it well:

Barring any outright deception however, there seems to be potential in Medfield.

I tend to believe that Intel is too smart to misjudge a product to investors, but remember how impressive the initial performance results of Larrabee were for years? 

I am hopeful and excited for Intel's mobility plans in 2012 as other information we have seen looks impressive.  Let's see what CES has to offer.

Give your project good CARMA, get a CUDA on ARM dev kit!

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 20, 2011 - 04:34 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, CUDA, CARMA, capital letters, arm

Okay so the pun was a little obvious, but NVIDIA has just announced the specifications and name for the development kit used to develop for their ARM-based GPU computing platform. The development kit will provide a method to build and test applications on a platform similar to what will be found in the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre’s upcoming GPU supercomputer until you are ready to deploy the finished application with real data on the real machine. Such is the life of a development units.

CARMA.jpg

Carma: What goes around, comes around... right Intel?

The development kit is quite modest in its specifications:

  • Tegra3 ARM A9 CPU
  • Quadro 1000M GPU (96 CUDA Cores)
  • 2GB system RAM, 2GB GPU RAM
  • 4x PCIe Gen1 CPU to GPU link
  • 1000Base-T networking support
  • SATA, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB.
 
While the specifications are somewhere between a high-end tablet and a modest workstation, the real story is the continued progress by NVIDIA into the High Performance Computing (HPC) market. NVIDIA seems to be certain that they are able to (ARM-)wrestle more market share from Intel and other players such as IBM on the high performance front. Many would probably speculate about NVIDIA’s crushing in towards the home market from both ends, but I expect that creating a compelling ARM product for a desktop PC will never be the problem for NVIDIA: it is a lack of anything compelling to run on it these days for a desktop user.
Source: NVIDIA Blogs

Microsoft Releases Update to Improve Bulldozer... I thought?

Subject: Processors | December 16, 2011 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, cpu, processor, windows, microsoft

Intel was far from demolished when AMD's Bulldozer came to town. Users still clung to hope that Microsoft's Windows 7 was not optimized to take advantage of Bulldozer's multi-core environment. Vindication came sweetly with a knowledge base article and a patch from Microsoft confirming the issue and offering a solution. While they can still feel comfortable knowing they were right, the solution has been pulled from Microsoft's website without any announced reason. Who should we feel sorry for: those who didn't download it yet, or those who did?

amd_bulldozer_performance boost.jpg

This picture is more meme-worthy than we realized...
99 hotfix and ah this ain't one? If you're having kernel problems I feel bad for you son.

 

To be entirely fair, Microsoft's knowledge base article was quite clear in its instruction to users regarding this hotfix.

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

Still, AMD users have another reason to be upset as if they needed one. The hotfix will come, and will come in completely stable form; it just looks like today is not that day. If you already received this update and have experienced technical difficulties, the comment form awaits.

Source: VR-Zone

Microsoft Releases Update To Improve Bulldozer Performance

Subject: Processors | December 16, 2011 - 01:56 AM |
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, cpu, processor, windows, microsoft

When AMD’s Bulldozer processors arrived, they were unable to best Intel’s fastest at most tasks. A number of users held out hope for Bulldozer; however, as it was discovered that Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system was not optimized to take advantage of the multi-threaded execution scheduling engine. While MS has implemented this optimization in the Windows 8 kernel, the current stable release has been without a fix until recently. The fix in question is available for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and can be downloaded here. It should be noted that service pack 1 is a pre-requisite to this hot-fix.

amd_bulldozer_performance boost.jpg

Conservatively, previous indications suggested such a fix would add a 5 % to 10 % performance boost in multi-threaded applications. That number is based on the estimates from around the web from people comparing benchmarks between Windows 7 and Windows 8 Developer Preview. If you are running a Bulldozer processor in your machine, be sure to apply this update and let us know how performance improves.

Source: Microsoft

CUDA been done sooner! NVIDIA open sources CUDA platform

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 15, 2011 - 04:03 AM |
Tagged: CUDA

NVIDIA lays as the current front-runner for the “Last Year’s Best Decision, This Year” award. You may remember our coverage last June of the AMD Fusion Developer Summit; industry members such as ARM, Microsoft, and of course AMD discussed the potential of utilizing specialized processors and developing on open platforms such as OpenCL and Microsoft’s announced C++ AMP. Do you know what would have been an amazing announcement for AFDS to stomp OpenCL and C++ AMP? That NVIDIA would open up CUDA. Know what announcement missed that bus by a whole half a year? NVIDIA will open up CUDA.

GPGPU-Trail.png

Your platform pooh-pooh? Bear a CUDA.

While I just harassed NVIDIA for their timing, it might not be too late. CUDA is still a powerhouse of a GPGPU platform with substantial software support from absolute mammoth software packages such as Adobe Creative Suite to smaller projects like KGPU. With the open sourcing of the CUDA compiler, NVIDIA is also permitting manufacturers like AMD and even Intel to support CUDA with their GPUs, x86 CPUs, and other processing units. While I am excited at this outcome, I am still somewhat confused about NVIDIA’s timing: they are just a little late to open up and crush the market, and they seem quite abrupt if they originally intended CUDA to survive as a forever-proprietary computing platform.

Source: NVIDIA

Video Perspective: AMD A8-3850 vs Intel Core i3-2105 Gaming Comparison

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | December 6, 2011 - 04:45 PM |
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, core i7, APU, amd, a8-3850

Our collection of videos comparing the AMD A8-3850 Llano APU to the Sandy Bridge-based Core i3-2105 have been very popular.  We thought we would wrap up 2011 with one final video that looks at the integrated graphics solutions on both processors in five of the top games released in 2011.  Here is what and how we compared them:

  • Batman: Arkham City - 1920x1080 - Low
  • Portal 2 - 1920x1080 - Very High
  • Battlefield 3 - 1366x768 - Low
  • Skyrim - 1920x1080 - Low
  • Modern Warfare 3 - 1920x1080 - High

Not to give away the secret but...

apu2011-2.png

Be sure you check out our Video Perspective below!!

Ivy Bridge should be here by the spring

Subject: Processors | December 5, 2011 - 01:48 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, i3-3200, i7-3700, i5-3500, i5-3400, 22nm, tri-gate

Good news for those of you who have been waiting to upgrade in the hopes that Ivy Bridge will be arriving on time.  It seems your patience has paid off but you will have to wait a while longer before you can get your hands on Intel's next tick.  You can look forward to more PCIe 3.0 lanes, just like those who've jumped onto the new Sandy Bridge E chips and a bump on the GPU portion of the chip.  X-bit Labs doesn't have any pricing for the new chips, but they do list all of the models you will be able to buy.  One thing you should note are the impressive TDPs, they may not count as low power CPUs but they're certainly lower than other Intel and AMD chips currently on the market.

intel_ivy_bridge_roadmap.jpg

"Intel Corp. has notified its partners about its decision to introduce of its next-generation code-named Ivy Bridge processors in the second quarter of 2012. Previously the company planned to release the Core i 3000-series central processing units (CPUs) for desktops in March - April timeframe, which left a possibility to unveil the chips in the first quarter."

intel_ivy_bridge_specifications.png

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: X-Bit Labs

Ivy Bridge Delayed Further Into 2012

Subject: Processors | December 1, 2011 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, delayed, 22nm

Although Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge successor, Ivy Bridge, was slated for a January 2012 launch, the situation is now looking more bleak. According to these slides over at BSN, Intel is delaying Ivy Bridge until at least April. While the top end Core i7 3770 Ivy Bridge processor might be available as soon as Q2 2012, it is also the most expensive part, and usually not the one that the majority of enthusiasts are waiting for. Rather, the important processors to watch for are the mid range and overclocker-friendly Core i5 series which will be available in Q3 2012 at the earliest if the current road-map holds true. The i5 3550 part may come out in Q2 2012 along with the top end i7 CPU; however, the majority of i5 processors will be released as soon as Q3 2012.

Further, the budget Core i3 Ivy Bridge parts are in the same boat as the i5 processors, with at least one (possibly) becoming available along with the top end Core i7 part in Q2 2012 and the rest slowly trickling out over the remainder of the year. While it is generally the case that the top end processor(s) are released first, followed by the lower end and less expensive parts, the delay has pushed back a April release for some of the budget parts to a Summer release. Needless to say, it is less than ideal for those consumers eagerly waiting for certain chips to go on sale. Not to mention that for those adventurous few that were willing to pay top dollar for the top end i7 chip this January now have to wait even longer.

INTC_BusinessRoadmap_689.jpg

The delay is likely due to Intel wanting to get as much money as possible out of the Sandy Bridge platform, and the lackluster launch of AMD’s Bulldozer products. Intel is likely taking the extra time to refine the new chipsets and the PCIe 3.0 support (that is also not technically rated for PCIe 3.0 speeds, sort of (heh)). On the other hand, Bright Side Of News speculates that the delay may be in part due to various retirements throughout the company requiring more development time in addition to needing more time to flesh out the graphics drivers for the GPU portion of Ivy Bridge processors.

Were you hoping for an Ivy Bridge upgrade early next year? Because of the further delays, will you spring for a top end Sandy Bridge system or wait it out for Ivy Bridge despite the money burning a hole in your pocket? As someone that is still rocking a 1156 system, I was hoping to skip Sandy Bridge and go for Ivy Bridge (I seem to love near-end-to-life sockets); however, with the delays I’m not sure what I’ll be doing now.

Intel Processors Power The Majority of Top 500 Supercomputers, Looking to Expand With MIC Solutions

Subject: General Tech, Processors | November 25, 2011 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: xeon, SC11, mic, many integrated core, knights corner, Intel

This year saw the 40th anniversary of (the availability of) the world’s first microprocessor- the Intel 4004 processor- and Intel is as strong as ever. On the supercomputing and HPC (High Performance Computing) front, Intel processors are powering the majority of the Top 500 supercomputers, and at this years supercomputing conference (SC11) the company talked about their current and future high performance silicon. Mainly, Intel talked about its new Intel Xeon E5 family of processors and the new Many Integrated Cores Knights Corner Larrabee successor.

220px-Intel_xeon_e7.jpg

The Intel Xeon E5 is available now.

The new Xeon chips are launching now and should be widely available within the first half of 2012. Several (lucky) supercomputing centers have already gotten their hands on the new chips and are now powering 10 systems on the Top 500 list where the 20,000 Xeon E5 CPUs are delivering a combined 3.4 Petaflops.

According to benchmarks, Intel is expecting a respectable 70% performance increase on HPC workloads versus the previous generation Xeon 5600 CPUs. Further Intel stated that the new E5 silicon is capable of as much as a 2x increase in raw FLOPS performance, according to Linpack benchmarks.

Intel is reporting that demand for the initial production run chips is “approximately 20 times greater than previous generation processors.” Rajeeb Hazra, the General Manager of Technical Computing of Intel’s Datacenenter and Connected Systems Group, stated that “customer acceptance of the Intel Xeon E5 processor has exceeded our expectations and is driving the fastest debut on the TOP 500 list of any processor in Intel’s history.” The company further reiterated several supercomputers that are set to go online son and will be powered by the new E5 CPUs including the 10 Petaflops Stampede computer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center and the 1 Petaflops Pleiades expansion for NASA.

Intel Xeon Top 500.png

While Intel processors are powering the majority of the world’s fastest supercomputers, graphics card hardware and GPGPU software has started to make its way into quite a few supercomputers as powerful companion processors that can greatly outperform a similar number of traditional CPUs (assuming the software can take advantage of the GPU hardware of course). In response to this, Intel has been working on it’s own MIC (Many Integrated Core) solution for a few years now. Starting with Larrabee, then Knights Ferry, and now Knights Corner, Intel has been working on silicon that using numerous small processing cores that can use the X86 instruction set to power highly parallel applications. Examples given by Intel as useful applications for their Many Integrated Core hardware includes weather modeling, tomography, and protein folding.

Intel Many Integrated Core.png

Knights Corner is the company’s latest iteration of MIC hardware, and is the first hardware that is commercially available. Knights Corner is capable of delivering more than 1 Teraflops of double precision floating point performance. Hazra stated that “having this performance now in a single chip based on Intel MIC architecture is a milestone that will once again be etched into HPC history” much like Intel’s first Teraflop supercomputer that utilized 9,680 Pentium Pro CPUs in 1997.

What’s interesting about Knights Corner lies in the ability of the hardware to run existing applications without porting to alternative programing languages like Nvidia’s CUDA or AMD’s Stream GPU languages. That is not to say that the hardware itself is not interesting, however. Knights Corner will be produced using Intel’s Tri-Gate transistors on a 22nm manufacturing process, and will feature “more than 50 cores.” Unlike current GPGPU solutions, the Knights Corner hardware is fully accessible and can be programmed as if the card is it’s own HPC node running a Linux based operating system.

More information on the Knights Corner architecture can be found here. I think it will be interesting to see how well Knights Corner will be adopted for high performance workloads versus graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, especially now that the industry has already begun adapting GPGPU solutions using such programming technologies like CUDA, and graphics cards are becoming more general purpose (or at least less specialized) in hardware design. Is Intel too late for the (supercomputing market adoption) party, or just in time? What do you think?

Source: Intel

Running Cool 'n' Quiet under Linux with AMD

Subject: Processors | November 23, 2011 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, cool 'n' quiet, Turbo Core, linux, fx-8150

AMD's Cool'n'Quiet feature, which lowers your CPU core frequencies when they are not under heavy usage has been around for a while, but Phoronix though it was time to revisit the Linux support for this feature and Turbo Core as we have a brand new architecture to test.  They fired up the FX-8150 again, running under Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.1 kernel and started benchmarking.  Their results show that AMD's power saving features are still working well under Linux, better when using single threaded applications than with multi-threaded but still worth enabling for those who want lower heat production and energy consumption.  It is hard to say how much you will save on power though, as the software Phoronix used to measure, fam15h_power, never budged from the 125W mark even when the system was pulling less power from the wall.

phoronix_cnq.jpg

"For those wondering about the impact that AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet and Turbo Core technologies have under Linux for the latest-generation Bulldozer processors, here are some tests illustrating the changes in performance, power consumption, and operating temperature."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: Phoronix

Video Perspective: AMD A8-3850 vs Core i3-2105 on Modern Warfare 3

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | November 21, 2011 - 10:00 PM |
Tagged: video, sandy bridge, mw3, modern warfare 3, Intel, APU, amd

There is little denying that Call of Duty: Modern Warfar 3 is a success; I think it sold like 19 billion copies on the first night.  Something like that.  So, as we have done quite a bit in recent months, we wanted to see how our processor-graphics based solutions compared to each other in the title.  We recently took a look at how Battlefield 3 performed and we had a lot of great feedback on that post - so let's try this again!  

Luckily for gamers (or not, depending on your point of view), MW3 is pretty light on graphics hardware.  We did our testing at 1920x1080 with the following quality settings:

mw3-2.png

With 2x anti-aliasing enabled and most quality settings turned up to their highest options, the game still looked pretty good during our testing.  No, it's no Battlefield 3, but very few titles are.

mw3-1.png

Both systems come in with a total cost of about $450 with the Core i3-2105 and A8-3850 at the center of each configuration. 

As you might guess, the integrated graphics on the AMD Llano APU outperforms the Sandy Bridge graphics, but by how much?  Check out the video for all the details!

Heard of the AMD VISION Engine?

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | November 15, 2011 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: AMD VISION Engine, amd, fusion, APU, steady video

The AMD VISION Engine is the name that AMD is using to describe the new features they are offering for users of their GPUs, APUs and those with both.  One example is the AMD Steady Video feature that Ryan and Ken showed off in July.  That is not all, this encompasses the hybrid Crossfire that exists in Llano laptops with discrete GPUs straight through to support for 30bit colour depth (aka 10bit per channel, 10 bit per pixel) and the GPU accelerated Flash. 

If you are interested in getting more from your APU then head to the AMD VISION site to download their driver package, think of it as a Catalyst with benefits.

AMD VISION Engine.jpg

Source: AMD

Intel's $1000 flagship CPU exists again, in the form of the 3960X Extreme Edition

Subject: Processors | November 14, 2011 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: Intel, sandy bridge-e, x79, 3960x extreme edition

It has been a while since Intel has released a CPU at $1000, which has felt a little strange as historically they've had a flagship processor in that price range.  Sangy Bridge E spells the return to this price point with the Core-i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU.  The basic stats will make you drool, 6 cores and 12 threads of 32nm, 130W TDP CPU with a base clock of 3.3GHz, Turbo speed of 3.9GHz and 15MB of shared cache.  The benchmarks however leave something to be desired; certainly it is faster than the original Sandy Bridge but it does not leave the competition eating its dirt.  Single GPU gamers probably won't even notice a change from previous chips, however with the extra power of the 3960X paired with the amazing amount of PCIe lanes available on the X79 series of motherboards, multi-GPU users may benefit much more from this chip.  That still doesn't change [H]ard|OCP's final comment about this chip, "Sandy Bridge E, maximizing BitTorrent ratios, one desktop at a time."

Catch Ryan's full review here.

H_coolSBE.png

"Intel debuts its $1000+ Extreme Edition 3960X processor parroting how great it is for the gamer and enthusiast. With 6 cores and 12 threads, a new motherboard and chipset platform, and quad channel DDR3, Intel as done the impossible, given us everything we don't want, and nothing we do want."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Sandy Bridge-E Prices Leaked In Company Bulletin

Subject: Processors | November 12, 2011 - 06:50 PM |
Tagged: Sandy Bridge E, microcenter, Intel, ddr3, core i7, asus

Sandy Bridge-E is almost upon us, and enthusiasts are no doubt salivating over the shiny new motherboards, quad channel memory, and PCI-E bandwidth that these chips offer. Naturally, there are bound to be price and information leaks as the launch date gets closer whether it is due to a PR move by Intel or a leak by a person or company on down the line. One such leak came to our attention recently via a leaked company bulletin. Microcenter, a US based computer electronics store has leaked the prices of some of the upcoming Sandy Bride-E processors.

sandy_bridge.jpg

While Sandy Bridge-E will not officially launch until the 14 of this month,Microcenter is already busy preparing for the launch by setting prices and organizing promotions. One such promotion has come to our attention recently, and involves two SB-E CPUs and a slew of supporting motherboards. The two processors in question are the Intel Core i7 3930K and the Core i7 3960X. The i7 3930K will be sold at $649.99 USD while the Extreme edition i7 3960X part will go for 1,149.99 USD. These prices are limited to one per customer and are in-store deals only. While the prices are a bit higher than expected, the retailer is trying to sweeten the deal by bundling a "free" Corsair H80 sealed loop water cooler with the purchase of any one of the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. While the free H80's price is likely built into the processor's mark-up, it's at least a decent cooler (HardOCP has a review of the water cooler here). Whether it will be beneficial will depend on the user's existing cooler and whether it will be compatible/upgradeable to socket 2011.

The company will also have a "limited stock" of X79 motherboards available at launch, with more stock to become available in the coming weeks after launch. Throughout all Microcenter stores, the following motherboards will be available at the following prices.

  • ASUS P9X79 PRO 2011 ATX $339.99
  • ASUS Sabertooth PX79 2011 ATX $349.99
  • ASUS P9X79 Deluxe 2011 ATX $389.99

Asus must be a crowd favorite over at Microcenter!

A bulletin containing the Microcenter leak ended with a positive note in stating "this launch should provide a tremendous opportunity for some very high end BYO builds for the most extreme enthusiast customer who is wanting the absolute latest and greatest from Intel!" Will you be hitting up a Microcenter at launch to get your Sandy Bridge-E on?

See what happens when you harness three GPUs to a Bulldozer and try to get them to pull it along

Subject: Processors | November 9, 2011 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: amd, bulldozer, sli, FX 8150, GTX580

In a good mood?  If so, do not read this [H]ard|OCP article on Bulldozer's gaming performance when coupled with two and three GTX580s.  By using an SLI setup you can see just how powerful a CPU is as it tries to keep up with the GPUs and as you might expect the Bulldozer is not up to the task.  In most tests [H] saw a 70% performance difference between the FX 8150 and the Core-i5 2500K, with both processors clocked at 4.8GHz.  In a very few tests the results were a little closer but this is bad news for AMD, especially when you consider it is the more expensive of the two chips.

brokedozer.jpg

"We are taking the new AMD FX-8150 and giving it the power of Dual and Triple-SLI GeForce GTX 580 video cards. We are going to take the new CPU up to large NV Surround resolutions and see how performance stacks up when it comes to high-end gaming scenarios."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Just Delivered: MAINGEAR Epic 180 CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | November 8, 2011 - 08:44 AM |
Tagged: maingear, epic 180, cooler

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

We got a box in from MAINGEAR over the weekend.  It did NOT include a PC.  Instead, we are getting our first experience with the Epic 180 CPU cooler.  

epic1.jpg

What you are looking at is a high end self-contained water cooler that exceeds the size of anything we have previously seen in the PC Perspective labs.  As the name implies, the Epic 180 is based on a 180mm radiator and fan and this likely means the number of chassis that will support it are limited. 

epic2.jpg

In this image, the Epic 180 (left) is compared to the original Corsair H50 cooler (right) with a 120mm fan on the radiator. Wow...

epic3.jpg

We will have a lot more details in upcoming stories but you should expect the Epic 180 to support LGA1155/1156, LGA1366 and of coure, the upcoming LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-E sockets.

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MAINGEAR claims that the Epic 180 will offer 20% better performance than other similar coolers with fan speeds at around 1000 RPM, keeping your rig both cool and quiet.  More details very soon!!

Just Delivered: 64GB of Corsair DDR3 - Ready for Sandy Bridge-E!!

Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Memory | November 7, 2011 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: corsair, vengeance, sandy bridge-e, just delivered

Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.

Sometimes we receive interesting packages in the mail and when we get things from Corsair, we tend to pay attention.  Oddly, I had not seen a box quite this size before.  What comes from Corsair in the shape of a cube?

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As it turns out, it was four 16GB DDR3 memory kits, preparing our team for the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E platform reviews!

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Each kit includes 4 modules, getting us ready for the quad-channel memory controller on the upcoming Intel CPU.  Corsair included both Vengeance and Vengeance LP kits for us, offering an option is lower profile for potentially larger heatsinks.

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For motherboards that will ship with 8 DIMM slots, this allows us to test configurations as high as 32GB!!  We are going to be covering all of these bases for you in the coming weeks before launch but don't worry - we are going test the standard 4 x 2GB configurations as well.  :)

AMD lays off 10-12% of workforce, new CEO cleans house

Subject: General Tech, Processors | November 3, 2011 - 08:22 PM |
Tagged: layoffs, amd

We have been discussing AMD’s condition and future outlook over most of recent memory. Since the lawsuit versus Intel and the subsequent trying by the Big Blue Giant: AMD’s apparent jab-haymaker combo of lawsuit-Sempron to push heavily in the consumer market seems to have been mostly dodged and countered by Intel. While this last quarter has been positive there is little time for positive press; AMD has, today, removed 1400 employees from their company.

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There was a time that AMD said they could beat anything Intel could throw at them.

That means that what AMD is releasing now is as-good or better than where they thought CPUs would be.

Food for thought.

It is not very uncommon to see layoffs during restructuring in the 10% range when a new CEO enters a company. The sad part of restructuring is that there is often little consideration about which employees comprise that 10%; rather, their job descriptions. These layoffs in isolation do not say much about AMD’s health in the upcoming time but should tint in one way or another how to perceive their upcoming actions. Where the future is positive or negative depends on how this ties into that.

Source: BSN