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The Holiday Season Swings Around Again
December has come around again, and AMD is sprucing up their lineup with three new processors sporting a 100 MHz increase in clockspeed. The new AMD "King of the Hill" is the Phenom II X6 1100T, a Black Edition processor which incrementally increases AMD's top performer. Along for the ride are the Athlon II X3 455 and Phenom II X2 565.
A quick visit to Austin
AMD's first Fusion APU is nearly here and we are finally able to talk about performance results from our hands out time with a reference platform a couple weeks back. The new AMD E-350 with Radeon HD 6310 graphics is going to put the world of ultra-mobile computing on its head!
What brings you to Austin?
AMD invited PCPer.com down to Austin to lay hands on the higher powered version of AMD's first APU family of products. Ryan was able to work with the Brazos based platform, and was able to tell briefly about his experiences. We also put together a preview of the Bobcat architecture, and what kind of changes it brings to AMD's latest processor cores.
Some VIA History
Since the original VIA Nano was released, we have been expecting the dual core version to eventually hit the scene. Now after several years, we have our hands on the first samples of this new product. We also were able to see what the VIA VN1000 integrated graphics chipset can do in the face of the latest competition from AMD.
Speed Bumps (and more) for Everyone!
AMD again refreshes its lineup with a speed bump, but it also throws a couple new wrinkles. The Phenom II X6 1075T is not a speed bump, nor is it unlocked, but it helps to flesh out the X6 family of parts at $245 US. AMD also introduces a new barnburner with the Phenom II X4 970. The Phenom II X2 560, Athlon II X4 645, Athlon II X3 450, and Athlon II X2 265 round out the collection of parts. Each is unique in their own special way, and we test every one.
AMD has plans for 2011
AMD is always lurking right around the corner during IDF and was eagerly showing off their Zacate / Ontario APUs. The first of the CPU/GPU hybrids from AMD are proving to be incredibly impressive performers especially with the power consumption taken into consideration. We took some time this week to sit down with them present you with the results!
Turbo, only better
At IDF this week, Intel is revealing much more information about the new Sandy Bridge processor architecture and one of many interesting features is a new version of Turbo Boost and how it functions with the platform. After spending some time with a handful of engineers and asking about the next-generation Turbo Boost technology, I think we have a good grasp of what it is, how it works and how it affects many different aspects of the new Intel platform.
The First APU from AMD Could be a Good One
At this year's IFA in Berlin, AMD further took the wraps off of their first APU/Fusion processor. Two variants of the chip were further detailed by AMD, and a bit more digging has uncovered some more interesting aspects of this groundbreaking processor from AMD.
The first for AMD
AMD was on stage today at the first annual Global Technology Conference hosted by former AMD production arm GLOBALFOUNDRIES talking about their move to 32nm process technology and their partnership with the foundry. Most importantly though we saw the first public showing of the AMD Llano Fusion desktop platform APU!!
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.