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2011 Can't Get Here Fast Enough
The original Athlon architecture has been refined and reused for the past decade at AMD. Now we finally received the first glimpse of a brand new architecture from AMD, and one that they hope will again place them at the forefront of innovation. Bulldozer is AMD's best hope to relive the success of the original Athlon and Athlon 64, and it has a good chance of doing so for the company.
Intel hopes frickin' lasers will replace electrons
Today Intel held a press briefing to discuss a milestone in the development of silicon photonics reaching a reproducible 50 Gbps link between two modules. Silicon photonics is the process of creating, modulating and reading photons via lasers for communications entirely on manufactured silicon. The technology and work being done is very complex but the ideas are pretty simple: create a piece of silicon that can create a laser to transmit data and another chip that can receive and decode the data at a low cost.
AMD gets more aggressive in the server market
AMD is announcing a pair of new product lines today to address a couple of server markets. The new Opteron 4100-series of processors takes the Lisbon core and lowers price to the point of absurdity. Can a $99 server processor coupled with power-per-core efficiency spell success for AMD in the cloud computing infrastructure? Can can the new FireStream parts put a dent in NVIDIA's Tesla lineup?
Intel K-series Processors
Intel's Extreme Edition processors are great for overclockers because of the unlocked aspect of the multipliers but not so great on their wallets. What if instead of $1000+ you could get a Lynnfield or Clarkdale CPU for much less and still get the benefits an unlocked CPU offers to overclocking? Well good news: Intel's new K-SKU parts are just that!
How Low Can You Go?
This past week AMD released six new Athlon II processors featuring dual, triple, and quad cores. I was able to get a hold of the Athlon II X2 260 and Athlon II X4 640 and put them through their paces. I was also able to fully review the MSI 890GXM-G65 with these processors, and have come to the happy conclusion that it makes for a very good match.
Thuban - no you don't have a speech impediment
While the Phenom II architecture might not be the foil against the Nehalem family of chips from Intel, it does not mean that AMD has been standing still and waiting for Bulldozer to deliver them from financial doom. Instead, AMD has actively improved these chips, and their latest member of the Phenom II family brings 6 cores to the fight. The Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition is an unlocked new design based on the Thuban core, and it aims to bring fast and affordable 6 core performance to the marketplace.
Thuban and Turbo Core
This past week AMD gave users a glimpse into one of the more interesting features of their upcoming 6 core desktop processor. While the chip has not been released yet, AMD wanted to create some excitement around this upcoming part by talking about its "Turbo Core" technology and what it means to users.
Westmere 6-core designs begin
Tired of those lousy quad-core processors from Intel that can ONLY process a total of 8 threads at the same time? If so, then you need to take a look at the new Core i7-980X processor that combines 6 Westmere 32nm processing cores on a single chip capable of handling 12 threads at a time. Need more power and have some spare cash???
Westmere brings Nehalem cores to lower prices
The Intel Clarkdale processors were released in January to finally replace the aging Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors from the socket 775 generation. We already tested the Core i5-661 but the Core i3-530 offers much of the same performance with a 70% lower price tag. And the overclocking potential our sample demonstrated impresses as well!!
Massive data sets, massive processing, massive bandwidth
We have been talking about tera-scale technologies since 2006 when it comes to Intel research programs. The name is perhaps more grandiose than the actual idea: as data sets increase in size the need for computing technologies to handle this amount of data will need to be created. It is no secret that the CPU as it exists today simply can't handle the massive amounts of parallel information that will soon become normal operating procedure.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
While AMD is certainly behind Intel when it comes to the high end of the market, as well as introducing 32 nm processors, they do have a very strong position and following in the sub-$200 processor market. AMD has released five new processors from $74 to $179, which they hope will help solidify their offerings in the face of Intel's i3 and i5 processors.
Westmere meets the desktop
Intel is bringing the Nehalem architecture to an even lower price point with their first 32nm architecture known as Westmere. Part of a huge processor and product release today the Clarkdale processors are based around Core i5 and Core i3 brands and integrate graphics on the CPU for the first time in a mainstream desktop platform.
Meet the other new guy
A winter full of new Intel releases, the new Westmere architecture has been launched on both the desktop and mobile segments. In this review of the new Intel mobile platform we preview what the new processor will mean to notebook designs, performance and battery life going into 2010.
Pine Trail arrives ahead of schedule
The Intel Pine Trail platform is the latest upgrade to the Atom line of processors for netbook and nettop computers. This is a major architectural shift from a technical perspective as the CPU now integrates the memory controller and graphics core on the CPU die directly.
Intel announced a new processor design codenamed Bangalore that combines 48 x86 IA cores onto a single massive chip. The CPU will aimed at the future of cloud computing and could enable entirely new server and software designs. This is the progression of the original 80-core design we saw in 2006 - but we are getting much closer to reality here now.
Not Reinventing the Wheel
While Bulldozer and 32 nm processors from AMD will not show up for some time yet, AMD is taking off the wraps of a new revision of the 45 nm Deneb core. The X4 965 was a 140 watt TDP critter, and now it has been tamed to a slightly more manageable 125 watts. Let's see how this affects performance and overclocking!
Clarkdale makes its debut
Intel took some time to preview its upcoming Westmere processors, Clarkdale and Arrandale, during this past week at the Intel Developer Forum. The new CPUs will combine a dual-core Nehalem-based design with on-chip integrated graphics to create a high-performance, low power and low cost CPU for the mainstream PC user. Stop in to see if you will be picking one of these up this winter.
Propus to the Rescue
The latest quad cores are relatively tiny as compared to their older brothers and the competition from Intel. While these are not barn burners when it comes to performance, AMD is hoping that the combination of available performance and budget pricing will prove to be irresistible to users and OEMs alike.
Lynnfield Reaches Retail
Intel's Lynnfield processors have been getting a lot of attention recently but one SKU left out of the parade has been the Core i7-860. Coming in just a bit higher than the Core i5-750, the i7-860 adds support for HyperThreading technology and thus should see noticeable improvements in certain applications. We take the new CPU for a spin in our benchmark suite and judge it on performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar.
2nd Generation Ultra-Portable
The Tigris and "Codename formerly known as Congo" are two new notebook platforms that aim for the mainstream and ultra-portable marketplaces. While we have seen these products before, the combination of tuning and manufacturing changes allows them to fit into the mobile market. The extra boost could give AMD a nice set of weapons to further improve their marketshare in the mobile space.