Gulftown versus SandyBridge

Subject: Processors | April 7, 2011 - 02:47 PM |

X-Bit Labs pits Intel's two superstars against each other, the mighty but slightly elderly i7-990X Extreme Edition  and the brand new i7-2600K.  They both have roughly the same 3.4GHz speed but achieve it in different ways, with the 990X running 133MHz with a 26x multiplier and the 2600K adds a 34x multiplier to the 100MHz base and both vary their speed depending on tasks.  Turbo mode is also mostly the same, with the 2600K reaching a slight higher speed with it's 4/8 cores.  Can the extra cores and enthusiast level motherboard on the 990X push the performance past the new technology in SandyBridge?  Find out here.

"Intel started integrating the new Sandy Bridge processor microarchitecture not in the upper price segment, but in the mainstream LGA1155. This resulted in internal competition between the new LGA1155 and the old LGA1366 processors. So, which one will win in this round, the progressive Sandy bridge or the previous-generation Gulftown?"

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:


Source: X-Bit Labs

Of Linux and low end SandyBridge graphics performance

Subject: Processors | March 31, 2011 - 12:25 PM |

Any difficulties that Phoronix have encountered running Linux on SandyBridge platforms seem to have been taken as a personal insult and a challenge to be overcome.  They've been working hard testing the hardware to its current limits on Linux and have recently started on the graphical testing.  Drop by to see how well the support for Linux has been improved.

"On Wednesday we published our first compute performance numbers for the Core i3 2100, Intel's lowest-end "Sandy Bridge" processor at this point. This ~$125 USD processor was a step-up from the previous generation Clarkdale CPUs (roughly the Core i3 530), but obviously the Core i5 2500K was still a great deal faster. How's the Sandy Bridge graphics performance though with this low- end CPU? That is the focus of today's tests."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:


Source: Phoronix

Surprise Bulldozer; a sneak peek at the unreleased AMD processors

Subject: Processors | March 22, 2011 - 06:25 PM |

Phoronix noticed something very interesting on their project.  One submitter seems to be benchmarking a "AMD Eng Sample ZS182045TGG43_28" which appears to be one of the unreleased 16-core Interlagos Opterons.  The 32 core, 1.8GHz beats Intel's newest on the Ray Tracing benchmark that was used to test performance and it shows great promise on two other benchmarks that were verified as valid.  Some techies will also be very pleased that the new chips obviously have no problems with Linux.

"Lately we have been talking a lot about Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors under Linux due to their very competitive performance and interesting graphics abilities, but on the AMD side there has not been too much to talk about. On the low-end there is the intriguing Fusion APUs, but on the high-end they don't have an answer to Sandy Bridge until delivering their new "Bulldozer" products closer to the summer. Fortunately, we have the first Linux scoop and performance benchmarks from engineering samples of their 16-core Interlagos server chip."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:


Source: Phoronix

The Core i7 990X Extreme would like a word with you

Subject: Processors | March 4, 2011 - 01:06 PM |

Core i7-990X is a little upset that no one is paying attention to it.  Instead everyone is focused on what is a mid-range series of processors named SandyBridge that hangs out with a friend that doesn't like storage devices.  It is after all the fastest that Intel offers and has support for a lot of features that SB won't have until the high end series is finally released. 

Check out The Tech Report to see Intel's new flagship CPU in action.



"I hate to brag, but with six cores at 3.46GHz, a Turbo peak of 3.73GHz, 12MB of L3 cache, and three channels of DDR3 memory, I'm kind of a big deal. Add in the fact that my upper multipliers are unlocked so that I can be overclocked, and you can see why my asking price is one dollar short of a grand. If you still don't get it, just know that the valedictorian at your high school would probably have a nerdgasm over me. That's the sort of response I tend to provoke among dudes who know what I am. And ladies, of course. Both of them are pretty excited, too."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:



More Bulldozer information, from ISSCC

Subject: Processors | February 22, 2011 - 02:32 PM |

Some news came out of the International Solid State Circuits Conference
about AMD's architecture refresh, which we all know as Bulldozer.  Processor diagrams reveal information about the out of order (OoO) instruction capabilities as well as information about the L3 cache, something that caused problems in previous generations. has linked to various posts detailing the new processor as well as adding information they've gleaned themselves.

Sandy Bridge CPUs back on sale at Newegg

Subject: Processors | February 17, 2011 - 07:39 PM |

Well that's interesting, I got a tip from twitter (thanks john_blanton!) that Sandy Bridge processors were back on sale over at  Sure enough, that is indeed the case:

AMD wants APUs and Llano to be our Valentine

Subject: Processors | February 14, 2011 - 09:08 AM |

I have to admit that sometimes AMD doesn't come off as the most modern and hip company when it comes to advertising, but today they did something quite "fresh" and humorous.  When the door bell rang at 8am this morning and I found a small cubed package on the step, I honestly wasn't expecting anything.  Inside I found a coffee mug with the label "I (heart) APU" on it filled with small chocolates. 

Unfortunately my mug was in about a dozen pieces, but hey, the candy was still good!

Gauging the performance of SandyBridge

Subject: Processors | February 10, 2011 - 11:52 AM |

You could choose to find the delay of P67/H67 boards a major source of frustration, since you know they exist but not only hard to find but guaranteed to need an RMA.  Or you could decide that this is a great way to ensure that hardware reviewers do all the heavy lifting for you in determining the best ways to overclock SandyBridge parts, leaving you to do fine tuning once you get your hands on a system.  For those choosing the second option, you should drop by The Tech Report where they've just finished an investig

Intel shipping dual-core Sandy Bridge and current chipset

Subject: Processors | February 8, 2011 - 06:00 PM |

An interesting twist in the continuing saga of Intel's "broken chipset" occurred over the last couple of days.  First, Intel published a press release basically saying that they were going to allow shipments of their current chipset, still with the flaw, to certain manufacturers that agreed to implement certain work-arounds. 

Newegg pulls Sandy Bridge CPUs and P67 MBs while NVIDIA snickers quietly

Subject: Processors | January 31, 2011 - 09:51 PM |

We have already begun fielding questions on twitter and in the forums about what to do with existing systems and plans that readers had to build a Sandy Bridge system in the near future.  In a sense, we were given our answer when a user pointed out that Newegg has pulled both the 2nd Gen Core i5/i7 processors and motherboards based on the P67/H67 chipsets.

Linux and SandyBridge, the CPU portion is certainly working well

Subject: Processors | January 28, 2011 - 11:12 AM |

A caller left a voicemail asking if Linux will support SandyBridge's GPU on PC Perspective Podcast #138 and we directed him to a certain Intel blog post.  Over at Phoronix they are still trying to get the GPU acceleration to work perfectly, so far with mixed results.  That has not stopped them from benchmarki

Source: Phoronix

The other locked members of the SandyBridge family

Subject: Processors | January 18, 2011 - 12:58 PM |

Many of the reviews we have seen of SandyBridge processors have focused on the pair of unlocked processors, for quite obvious reasons.  There are other members of the SB family that were released as well the Core-i5 2300, 2400 and 2500, all over 3GHz and around $200 in price.  X-bit Labs pitted them against previous generation Intel CPUs as well as a pair of Phenom IIs, take a look at the results here.

Source: X-Bit Labs

AMD fires CEO Dirk Meyer and begins hunt for new fall-man

Subject: Processors | January 10, 2011 - 06:00 PM |

In a move that is stunning to just about everyone, the Board of Directors at AMD has decided to part ways with CEO Dirk Meyer.  Even after having...

"successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic
initiatives including the launch of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the successful
settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to
the market"

NVIDIA settles with Intel for $1.5 billion and cross-licensing

Subject: Processors | January 10, 2011 - 05:37 PM |

It has been an interesting evening in the world of high tech business as the post-CES silence was broken by two news-worthy stories.  AMD's CEO gets kicked to the curb and now this: NVIDIA is settling its legal issues with Intel for $1.5 billion paid over five annual payments in exchange for a cross-licensing deal during that time.  For all the talk from each company's respective CEOs over the years of this dispute, it all comes down to some simple payments and we'll likely not hear of it again until the renewal season is met. 

The patents are really going one way here - Intel gets access to NVIDIA's portfolio of goodies in exchange for this payment.  Does NVIDIA get access to Intel information?  Likely, but it doesn't look like the green team has any plans to use it:

"We have said many times that we have no intentions to develop chipsets for Intel processors," said NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.  "We have no intentions of building x86 processors." 

Well there you go - NVIDIA doesn't plan on to work on a processor compatible with x86 technology and instead is going to push forward with its Project Denver that will attempt to bring the ARM architecture to larger platforms like tablets, notebooks and even desktops.  That much I have always believed - x86 is big, complex and not the best tool for the job in terms of mobile devices. 

What we might have expected was a return of NVIDIA to the world of Intel platform core logic design, but that sounds like its out as well.  I am guessing that restarting the division inside the company would take longer than it is worth and with the continued rise of Intel's desktop-class processor graphics, going down that road is less and less profitable.

Intel to Pay NVIDIA Technology Licensing Fees of $1.5 Billion

New Six-Year Cross-License Renews Previous Agreement


NVIDIA announced today that it has signed a new six-year cross-licensing agreement with Intel.

For the future use of NVIDIA's technology, Intel will pay NVIDIA an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees payable in five annual installments, beginning Jan. 18, 2011.

NVIDIA and Intel have also agreed to drop all outstanding legal disputes between them.

"This agreement signals a new era for NVIDIA," said Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's president and chief executive officer. "Our cross license with Intel reflects the substantial value of our visual and parallel computing technologies. It also underscores the importance of our inventions to the future of personal computing, as well as the expanding markets for mobile and cloud computing."

Under the new agreement, Intel will have continued access to NVIDIA's full range of patents. In return, NVIDIA will receive an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees, to be paid in annual installments, and retain use of Intel's patents, consistent with its existing six-year agreement with Intel. This excludes Intel's proprietary processors, flash memory and certain chipsets for the Intel platform.

The existing agreement is to expire March 31, 2011.

Pursuant to U.S. GAAP, a portion of the proceeds will be accounted for and attributed to the settlement of prior legal claims. This amount, which NVIDIA anticipates to be less than $100 million, will be included in the company's fourth-quarter results.

The balance of the licensing fees will be accounted for on a straight-line basis over the six-year term of the agreement. Accordingly it is anticipated that this would amount annually to approximately $233 million of operating income and an increase in net income of $0.29 per diluted share, on a full year basis.

AMD's CPU refresh

Subject: Processors | January 7, 2011 - 10:31 PM |

Amongst the excitement of CES 2011, AMD's refreshing of their processor lineup has been overshadowed somewhat.  You can get a look at the various models as well as the speed bumps that they represent by dropping by Legit Reviews

CES 2011: AMD Fusion powers Rabbit Butt Projector

Subject: Processors | January 5, 2011 - 03:52 PM |

At first you might think this is just a normal rabbit smoking a cigarette...

But in fact, there is more to it than just a humorous expression.  Inside this rabbit rests a pico-ITX AMD Fusion series motherboard and pico-projector....pointing out it's rear end.

CES 2011 Video: AMD Showcases Fusion Processors

Subject: Processors | January 5, 2011 - 03:06 AM |

During the opening festivities for CES tonight, AMD was on hand demonstrating a handful of design wins based on the new AMD E-series APUs.  Previously called the Brazos platform, we spent some hands on time with the combined CPU/GPU back in November 2010 and came away very impressed.  

CES 2011: VIA Releases Nano X2

Subject: Processors | January 4, 2011 - 02:02 PM |

Some months back I was able to lay hands on the latest dual core VIA Nano processor, albeit an engineering sample made on the older 65 nm process from TSMC.  Now VIA has announced that their latest VIA Nano X2 chips are available at 40 nm.  This should have a very positive effect on the power consumption of systems based on these chips.

CES 2011: GIGABYTE Unveils Its First AMD Fusion Mini-ITX Motherboard

Subject: Processors | January 4, 2011 - 03:08 AM |

-- GIGABYTE Unveils Its First AMD Fusion™ Mini-ITX Motherboard at CES 2011 --
Delivering Outstanding Integrated Graphics from a Low Power, Small Form Factor Hi-Def Home Entertainment Platform