Ray Tracing and Gaming - One Year Later

Subject: Processors | January 17, 2008 - 04:15 PM |

In case some of you guys aren't checking out the RSS feeds of our articles or just skip over the icons above, I really need to make sure you see the new ray tracing article from Daniel Pohl.  As a follow up to Daniel's previous article that first introduced ray tracing to our readers, this newest iteration dives into some examples of how ray tracing can be more efficient than rasterization when it come to rendering games. 

The short answer is ...

Subject: Processors | January 17, 2008 - 02:50 PM |

Not without a TEC or LOX setup.

Extremetech found overclocking the Phenom 9600 to be difficult and unpredictable.  They were unable to get more than 200MHz above the spec speed, and even then it sounds like there were difficulties encounter.  About the only thing they could count on was a big jump in the heat produced by the chip.

Source: Extremetech

Intel 45nm parts pushed back until Feb/March

Subject: Processors | January 16, 2008 - 11:53 AM |

Yesterday I pointed to a story that talked about Intel's mobile 45nm Penryn processors being delayed and today it seems like the inevitable happened - talks of the desktop parts being late are surfacing. 

Digitimes is reporting that Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor, the one we reviewed recently with the 1600 MHz FSB, is going from a January release to February or March.

More Unfortunate News for AMD

Subject: Processors | January 10, 2008 - 08:58 PM |

Since the original Lake Tahoe event where AMD first showed off Phenom based systems for the press, we have had essentially nothing but bad news concerning the new processor architecture.  The first news was that the 2.4 and 2.6 GHz versions would be launched sometime late Q1 2008, then we had the TLB errata issue, then the pushing back of the tri-core Phenoms, then the pushing back of the revision B3 Phenoms hitting the market, and it seemingly has gone on ad nauseum.

What we know about Intel's new processors

Subject: Processors | January 7, 2008 - 02:24 PM |

The biggest surprise in Intel's announcement about their 16 new processors is that over half of them will be available very soon.  The actual specs are a little light, but you can read about all that is know about them at [H]ard|OCP as well as several other sites.  We do know that they are 45nm and the soon to be released C2D CPUs will run betwen 2.10GHz to 3.16GHz.  You will have to wait a while for the new quad cores.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel Unveils 16 Next-Generation Processors, Including First Notebook Chips Built on 45nm Technology

Subject: Processors | January 7, 2008 - 11:58 AM |

INTERNATIONAL 2008 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2008 - Intel Corporation unveiled 16 products today, including the company's first 45 nanometer(nm) processors for Intel Centrino Processor Technology based laptops.

I see an AMD Core and I want it painted black

Subject: Processors | January 3, 2008 - 02:27 PM |

The AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition should be hitting retailers soon, and it has already made appearances on reviewers desks.  It arrived at a speed of 2.3GHz (11.5x200MHz), but seeing as how it is unlocked that multiplier can change, for instance [H]ard|OCP had no problems reaching a 15x multiplier and just over 3GHz.  If AMD sticks to their promised $250-ish pricing, you can expect this CPU to offer rather nice performance for it's price.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Upgrading to Phenom with AM2 not as cool as we thought

Subject: Processors | December 28, 2007 - 01:39 PM |

The guys at Tom's Hardware, as reported by Engadget, are saying that the "drop in upgrade" of Phenom processors into existing AM2 motherboards isn't working as well as we originally hoped.

Source: engadget

AMD ends Athlon X2 branding, starts Athlon 6000 series

Subject: Processors | December 27, 2007 - 11:06 AM |

Fans of Athlon X2 processors, and huge OEMs that use them, are set to place their final orders for K8 parts next quarter.  But no worries!  They are going to release a dual-core version of Phenom in Q1 of 08 as well in the form of the Athlon 6000 series.

Source: Digitimes

AMD tri-core CPUs coming in March

Subject: Processors | December 25, 2007 - 06:47 PM |

According to this report at Digitimes, the first triple-core processors from AMD in their Phenom 8000-series are going to be released this coming March.  First up will be 2.1 GHz and 2.3 GHz models known as 8400 and 8600 respectively.

AMD will launch two B2 stepping triple-core CPUs, Phenom
8600 and 8400 in March of next year, while in the second quarter, the
company will launch three more models, Phenom 8700, 8650 and 8450.

Source: Digitimes

Could the next round of Phenoms be pushed back to Q2?

Subject: Processors | December 24, 2007 - 12:51 AM |

According to this Digitimes report, the upcoming revision of the Phenom 9600 and 9900 CPUs with the TLB fix to address performance issues is going to be pushed back until Q2 of 2008.  Their sources claim that AMD hasn't been able to solve the bug and if this turns out to be true will be very bad news indeed for a product that hasn't even seen day one of sunlight.

Source: Digitimes

Apple and Intel partner with new Silverthorne chip

Subject: Processors | December 21, 2007 - 03:21 PM |

No real surprises here, though the news coming from Intel directly is uplifting for upcoming mobile technologies.  If only there was more news besides partnering with Apple...

Source: engadget

Intel Delays Launch of Slower Quad Parts

Subject: Processors | December 19, 2007 - 12:03 PM |

Digitimes is reporting that Intel is backing off of its introduction of the lower clocked 45 nm quad core parts.  These would have included the Q9300, Q9450, and Q9550.  The official story is that Intel does not feel the need to release these due to all of the issues AMD is having getting their quad cores out.  Since Intel feels there is no real competition in this space, they can let their current 65 nm quad core parts handle the demand.

Source: Digitimes

Unleashed: AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition with clock multiplier control

Subject: Processors | December 19, 2007 - 10:26 AM |


New AMD GAME! Wiki
offers opportunity for gaming enthusiasts to share, learn and create

Your quad-core CPU is lame

Subject: Processors | December 18, 2007 - 12:21 PM |

According the "we get it now" genius at the New York Times, coding multi-threaded software is hard.  Go figure!  Other than making it easy to make fun of mainstream media again, this article does bring up some good points.  Multi-threaded coding is completely different than the coding models used since the beginning of time and software engineers are having to completely re-learn their art in order to keep up with hardware advancements.  And so, becaus

Source: The Inquirer

Choosing the lesser of two evils

Subject: Processors | December 10, 2007 - 12:14 PM |

Unfortunately for AMD, one of the most publicized features of the new Barcelona chips is the TLB bug, which in a very few cases can cause a system lockup.  Even a small chance of failure like this makes the Barcelona a far less attractive choice to use in any critical system, and as these chips are aimed at the server market, that becomes a very big deal.  AMD has issued a patch, but the patch comes at a price; we have heard it possibly costs up to 14% of total performance.  A different fix i

Spider ate the Quad FX

Subject: Processors | December 3, 2007 - 05:33 PM |

After a talk with an rep from AMD, The Tech Report got an update on dual Quad cores and Quad FX ... it isn't happening, at least not soon.  It looks like Phenom will not support this feature, so anyone who picked up a platform that was supposed to support Quad FX won't have anything to stick in that second socket.  Instead AMD has focused on projects like Spider, and we are left wondering what Intel's plans will be, and if Skulltrail will die as well.

AMD, uncomfortable under the spotlight

Subject: Processors | November 28, 2007 - 01:30 PM |

You can catch Josh Walrath's take on the X2 5000+ Black Box, the last of the Athlons at PenStar Systems.  It is still a relevant chip, as desktop Phenom's aren't exactly available, and it's overclocking ability will let you build a system that you can upgrade to a Phenom when they are available, and only have to drop ~$100 on the CPU.

Performance for the rest of us

Subject: Processors | November 26, 2007 - 05:28 PM |

The refresh of the E6550, the E6450 offers a great way to chart the performance differences between the Conroe and Wolfdale as they are essentially the same chip.  If you check out the full review at t-break, you can see that the various optimizations and the extra 2MB cache help in many applications, but don't really impact game performance that much.

Source: t-break