AMD has debuted the first commercially available 5 GHz CPU processor, dubbed the FX-9590. These 8-core CPUs are targeted at gamers and high-end users looking to power their rigs with some of the fastest silicon available.
“At E3 this week, [we] demonstrated why [we are] at the core of gaming,” explained AMD exec Bernd Lienhard.
“The new FX 5 GHz processor is an emphatic performance statement to the most demanding gamers seeking ultra-high resolution experiences including AMD Eyefinity technology.”
According to Lienhard, both the 5 GHz FX-9590 and 4.7 GHz FX-9370 feature the “Piledriver” architecture, are unlocked for easy overclocking and pave the way for enthusiasts to enjoy higher CPU speeds and related performance gains. Additionally, the processors bost AMD Turbo Core 3.0 technology to dynamically optimize performance across CPU cores and enable maximum computing for the most intensive workloads.
As you may recall, AMD was the first to break the 1 GHz barrier in May of 2000 and continues to roll out innovative silicon, including the first Windows compatible 64-bit PC processor and the first native dual-core and quad-core processors. Oh, and yes, AMD also introduced the first APU (unifying CPU and Radeon graphics on the same chip) as well as the first x86 quad-core SoC.
The new AMD FX CPUs will hit the streets this summer in two configurations:
* FX-9590: Eight “Piledriver” cores, 5 GHz Max Turbo.
* FX-9370: Eight “Piledriver” cores, 4.7 GHz Max Turbo.
As a followup to its flagship Opteron 6300 launch last month, AMD has just released several more Piledriver-based processors meant for the server room. One eight-core and two quad-core models are part of the Opteron 3300 series, while the Opteron 4300 series gets six new CPUs: one quad-core, three six-core and two eight-core designs. With all this new silicon, IT pros may have concerns about compatibility issues — but fear not, for all of AMD’s new gear has sockets that fit in with the 3200 and 4200 series to make upgrading a painless process. Designed for small-to-medium sized businesses and web host servers, the chips are relatively inexpensive with prices ranging from $174 to $501, a far cry from the the $575 to $1,392 price of the higher-end 6300.
Despite the low cost, AMD claims the CPUs have a 24 percent performance per watt increase and 15 percent less power usage than their predecessors. The chip maker will likely still face an uphill battle against Intel’s mighty Xeon, but businesses looking to save a little cash might be the Opteron’s saving grace. There’s more detailed specs on the newly announced processors at the source, and you can get a peek at the pricing table after the break.
If you get the impression that AMD is diverting its energy away from traditional CPUs and towards APUs and fresher PC form factors such as all-in-ones, then you’re certainly right — but you’re also slightly ahead of the game. The company promises there’s a still a good few years of life left in its CPU-only chips and the AM3+ socket, and it’s putting today’s announcement forward as evidence. As of now, last year’s eight-core FX-8150 has been superseded on retailers’ shelves by the FX-8350, which notches the stock clock speed up to 4GHz, or 4.2GHz on turbo (alas with no obvious sign of that resonant mesh we once heard about). The full stack (codenamed ‘Vishera’) includes eight-, six- and four-core options, all based on the new Piledriver architecture which — when combined with these higher clock speeds — promises an overall performance uplift of around 15 percent versus the old Bulldozer cores. To be fair though, those Bulldozers weren’t so snappy to begin with, and besides, the most significant performance claims with this upgrade relate to multi-threaded applications and a few gaming titles like Skyrim and Civ 5. Judging from the slide deck below, gains in other areas of performance may be lower — perhaps in the region of seven percent — so as usual we’re going to roundup a bunch of reviews later today before we jump to any conclusions.
If it turns out that stock performance alone isn’t enough to sell these chips, then potential buyers still ought to check out FX’s pricing relative to Intel — not least because, as is typical, AMD sells overclockable chips at no extra charge. The top-end FX-8350 will hit the market at $195, which is not only cheaper than some earlier leaks suggested, but also $40 cheaper than an unlocked Core i5-3570K that has a lower clock speed and a smaller L3 cache — although the relative performance of these two chips remains to be independently tested. Meanwhile, the entry-level quad-core FX-4300 will virtually match the price of a locked i3-2120 at $122, but can be readily overclocked to 5GHz with water-cooling. AMD is also making a few claims based on the cost of multiple components in a rig: for example, that you can spend $372 on an FX-8350 and Radeon HD 7850 combo that delivers a 25 to 70 percent gaming advantage over a similarly priced Core i5 3570K with a GeForce GTX 650 Ti. Again, stay tuned for our roundup and we’ll figure out just how compelling this really is.
- AMD Fusion Marketing Shot
We reported here that AMD’s Richland would be compatible with the current FM2 socked, but hardware experts at Fudzilla.com have uncovered some more info about the new chipsets AMD will be launching next year.
AMD’s next-generation chipset will consume exactly the same amount today’s A75 chipset uses and will pack 4 USB 3.0 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports and 8 SATA III connectors.
CrossFire support is still there and the users will be able to match a modest video card with the HD 7000 iGPU inside AMD’s Richland.
The new models use the long-awaited Piledriver enhanced x86 core and the same 8 MB level 3 cache.
The maximum supported memory is still 1866 MHz DDR3, but the processors themselves will likely offer an overall 20% performance increase over today’s FX 8150 CPU like we’ve reported here.
The new additions are reportedly called FX 8300 and FX 8320.
These are unlocked CPUs and the former runs at a base frequency of 3.3 GHz while the latter rated at 3.5 GHz with a 4.0 GHz Turbo option.
AMD’s FX 8300 has every chance of becoming an overclocker’s favorite as it only sport a 95 watts maximum TDP while the FX 8320 is rated at 125 watts TDP just like the FX 8350 that we’ve reported here.
AMD has already confirmed that its next-generation Trinity APUs will become available in mid-2012, but a recently leaked company roadmap has now arrived to give us more details about the launch of these APUs, as well as about the Brazos 2.0 and Vishera processors.
The first new chips to come out from AMD will arrive in the second quarter of this year, and they will cover the low-end and upper-mainstream performance sectors.
The starts of the show will be of course the new Trinity APUs based on the Bulldozer architecture, four such parts being expected to arrive by the end of the second quarter, according to the leaked Donanim Haber roadmap.
AMD will split these into the A10- and A8-Series, the first one including the A10-5800 and A10-5700 APUs with Radeon HD 7660D graphics, while the latter will welcome the A8-5600 and A8-5500 models with Radeon HD 7560D graphics.
These APUs will coexist with AMD’s previous Llano processors until the third quarter of this year when the chip maker plans to introduce the A6-5400 and A4-5300 APUs with Radeon HD 7540D and 7840D GPUs.
In the performance sector, the third quarter of this year will witness the introduction of the Vishera processors featuring the same Piledriver cores as those used for the Trinity APUs.
Four such CPUs are prepared, two of them including eight processing cores, the FX-8350 and FX-8320, while the other two pack six and, respectively, four computing cores. These two chips are called the FX-6300 and FX-4320.
For the low-end computer market, AMD plans to introduce the Brazos 2.0 platform in the second quarter of this year.
This includes the AMD E2-1800 and E1-1200 APUs, both of these chips coming as slightly faster versions of the E-300 and E-450 processors they are meant to replace. We’ll keep you up to date with how things evolve from now on.
AMD Radeon HD 7970 packs 4.3 billion transistors
This is almost twice as much as Intel’s recently launched Sandy Bridge-E chips which feature 2.27 billion transistors.
What’s inside it you ask? Well, a massively parallel architecture of course that packs 32 so called Compute Units to deliver a total of 2048 streaming processors.
Some other hardware logic is also packed inside the chip, like dual geometry engines, a render back end, some L2 cache and a 384-bit wide memory controller, but as you can see from the slide provided by OBR Hardware, the largest part of the GPU is occupied by the Compute Units.
The 4.3 billion transistors is truly a massive number, which makes us wonder where will GPU makers go from here. After all, they can’t keep on increasing the transistor count forever.
Even though Bulldozer has proven be to a disappointment for many, AMD isn’t going to let this architecture go and until the end of this year will release another FX-series CPU into the market, dubbed the FX-6200.
The processor will be able to dynamically adjust its operating speed, according to the number of threads run, thanks to the inclusion of the Turbo Core 2.0 technology which enables it to reach a maximum speed of 4.1GHz.
The rest of its specs are rather standard for a six-core FX-Series chip as it includes 6MB of L2 cache as well as 8MB of Level 3 cache memory, but the TDP has been increased to 125W from the 95W of the current FX-6100.
This could partially be explained by the increase in operating frequencies, but there’s also a chance that given Globalfoundries’ 32nm yield issues AMD may have decided to raise the TDP on purpose in order to make it easier for its chips to qualify as an FX-6200.
As far as performance is concerned, an internal AMD document places this new Bulldozer chip between the AMD FX-6100 and the FX-8150 in video encoding tasks.
The same graph also shows Intel’s Core i5-2400 running this application, reveling that the two processors are almost equal when it comes to video encoding.
More info should become available on December 26, when the new AMD FX-6200 is expected to make its entrance.
Pricing for this new chip will be set at $175, which translates into about 134 EUR, and makes the AMD CPU slightly less expensive than its Intel counterpart, the Core i5-2400, that sells for $184 to $195.
Advanced Micro Devices completed its newest set of x86 processors for the enterprise market, the Opteron 4200 series (previously codenamed Valencia) and Opteron 6200 (formerly Interlagos).
The chips have between 4 cores and 16 cores and can each handle up to 12 DIMM memory slots (even ultra-low voltage 1.25V), which implies a maximum memory capacity, per CPU, or 384 GB.
Also, up to four x16 HyperTransport technology (HT3) links operate on each unit, with 6.4 GT/s per link.
Businesses and large enterprises will get to boost their performance by up to 84% in ideal cases.
Virtualization is also more scalable now, with bandwidth boosts of up to 84% and, thus, allowing a server to handle more workloads and host more machines.
Power efficiency is also among the assets of the Opterons, as promised, with power envelopes of as low as 4.37W per core.
Cloud computing is supposed to benefit a lot from the appearance of the new chips, since the halved power requirement isn’t the only perk.
The 4200 and 6200 series also need two thirds less floor space and reduce platform price by just as much.
“Our industry is at a new juncture; virtualization has provided a new level of reliable consolidation and businesses are now looking to the cloud for even more agility and efficiency. We designed the new AMD Opteron processor for this precise moment,” said Paul Struhsaker, corporate vice president and general manager, Commercial Business, AMD.
“The wait for the most anticipated new product and architecture for servers is over. Leading OEMs are now offering cloud, enterprise and HPC customers a full suite of solutions based on the industry’s most comprehensive server processor portfolio, the new AMD Opteron family of processors which deliver an inspired balance of performance, scalability and efficiency.”
The AM3+ 4-8-core “Zurich” is the first processor to ship, before the first half of 2012 and is based on the Bulldozer architecture. 2012 will have ARM launching some Opteron 3000 CPUs as well.
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