Monday, September 22nd 2008

Phenom X4, X3 45nm Lineup for H1 2009 Explained

AMD would be releasing its first desktop processors based on the 45nm silicon fabrication process, based on the newer Deneb core. The company is said to have made several tweaks to the original K10 design and equipped the core with 300% the amount of L3 cache as its 65nm Agena parts. The only thing got us wondering was what would be its nomenclature like? Well, be surprised to know that after Phenom X4 9000 series, the company plans to continue the numbering with a 5-digit model number scheme with x1000 unit deviations between models. A rather confusing naming scheme, as suggested by the chart provided, seems to have been adopted.

It is now clear, that there will be two distinct kinds of Phenom X4 45nm chips: those which continue support for DDR2 memory on the existing AM2/AM2+ sockets, and those which are exclusive to the AM3 socket and feature support for DDR3 memory, DDR3 1333MHz at that. The processors would feature dual 64-bit memory controllers, which could be ganged for a single 128-bit wide memory interface, or un-ganged to step up multi-tasking efficiency.

The first two Phenom parts out are, Phenom X4 20350, clocked at 2.80 GHz, and a higher model, Phenom X4 20550, clocked at 3.00 GHz. Both these parts are DDR2 compatible which extends the life of current AM2/AM2+ platform. Both have rated TDP of 125W. This is an improvement over the 65nm parts, which had a third of the amount of L3 cache and the 2.60 part being rated at 140W.

Next up, is a fleet of AM3 socket processors that use DDR3-1333 as the memory standard. Their nomenclature starts from the 16xxx range, extending up to 20xxx depending on the clock speed. It can be seen that the parts with a full 8 MB cache (4x 512 KB L2 + 6 MB L3) feature a 20xxx number, while those based on the Propus core which lack L3 caches, feature a total of 2 MB cache (4x 512 KB), have 16xxx series number depending on their clock speeds. Interestingly, there's a part with 3 MB cache featured. We're not sure how the math works out. Finally, 45nm Phenom X3 parts are listed, with their two kinds of cores depending on the presence of L3 caches. They use 14xxx for those with the L3 cache (Heka core), and 12xxx for those without them (Rana core). As you can see, the model numbers are now a complete deviation from the PRN system AMD used only an year ago with its Athlon 64 X2 chips. Also mentioned are their tentative release dates. AM2+ Deneb chips are just around the corner.Source: Expreview
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61 Comments on Phenom X4, X3 45nm Lineup for H1 2009 Explained

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
It seems to me that AMD is taking a page from Intel's book and taking an underperforming architecture and pairing it with an insane amount of Cache to try and up the performance to competitive levels. Everyday, I think more and more that K10 is the netburst of the current processor world.
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#2
KBD
I dont know, i think this is an improvement from the earlier roadmap. Looks like we wont be getting a 4 gig Deneb FX, but speaking of FX, why isn't it up on that chart? Any thoughts on when it could be released and at what clock speed? I think it will be at 3.2Ghz and may there will be Black Editions of the other chips later down the road. That would correspond to AMD's earlier policy: release locked multi chips first and then Black Edition later.


As far as AM2+/AM3 deal, its nice of AMD to continue supporting the old socket, not everyone wants to move to DDR3 yet, i think it needs to mature more and drop in price. But i was still hoping to see official support for at least DDR3-1600, but i supppose the RAM could be overclocked to that frequency. One nice thing about is that beats Intel Nehalem DDR3-1066 boards.
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#3
mdm-adph
by: newtekie1
It seems to me that AMD is taking a page from Intel's book and taking an underperforming architecture and pairing it with an insane amount of Cache to try and up the performance to competitive levels. Everyday, I think more and more that K10 is the netburst of the current processor world.
Newtekie's world:

8M Cache on an Core 2 Chip: "Great chips -- that much added cache makes for great performance."

8M Cache on a Phenom: "Poor chips -- added cache is obviously a poor attempt to improve performance."

:wtf:

I agree with you that K10 is looking like the Pentium 4 of the current processor world, but it's got nothing to do with their choice of cache sizes. (It's got much more to do with the heat/performance ratio.)
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#4
Abu Assar
those who said that AMD dropped the support for AM2+ can notice that AMD didn't release any deneb AM2+ cpu that has an equivalent agena .

i.e agena core maxed at 2.6 , so deneb will start from 2.8 going through 3.0GHz and maybe in 2009/H2 they will introduce 3.2 for AM2+ and AM3 simultaneously , this or they will pull a 939 again.

and about the naming scheme , once we get used to it ; it will make much more sense , as you can divide it into 2 sections (1) 20 (2) 550 , and there is much more for future product to fill the grid : 20xxx , 30xxx , 40xxx and so on !

looks like ATi team gave them this idea as it is similar to Radeon HD 2000 , HD 3000 , HD 4000 ...
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#5
KBD
by: mdm-adph
Newtekie's world:

I agree with you that K10 is looking like the Pentium 4 of the current processor world, but it's got nothing to do with their choice of cache sizes. (It's got much more to do with the heat/performance ratio.)
I think both you and newtekie hit the nail on the head, the heat/performance ratio and intro of large cache sizes reminds the revised K10 of netburst. But if i'm not mistaken Intel was alsopushing the frequency of P4s to insane levels, i guess thats where the similarity ends.
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#6
PCpraiser100
3Ghz Phenom? TWO 64-bit controllers? I want one.
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#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: PCpraiser100
3Ghz Phenom? TWO 64-bit controllers? I want one.
:confused: it's the same with today's Phenom X4 as well. K10 dice have two memory controllers, each of 64-bit data width to connect to a memory channel (unlike a single 128-bit controller on K8). When you say "Ganged Mode", you're making the two controllers on a K10 work combined for a single 128-bit wide path (same as "dual-channel") but when you ungang them, you have two 64-bit wide paths (supposed to help multi-threaded apps). Don't confuse this to "single-channel" memory, as there, you'd have only a single 64-bit wide path. For Unganged mode, you'd still need your two modules in the correct slots on the motherboard, so each controller could access its module.
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#8
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
True, but all the phenoms from 9950 to 9750 is supposed to be 125W now, I thought they changed those.


And thanks, I checked newegg.com after I posted that. Foxconns looks awesome.
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#9
mdm-adph
by: KBD
I think both you and newtekie hit the nail on the head, the heat/performance ratio and intro of large cache sizes reminds the revised K10 of netburst. But if i'm not mistaken Intel was alsopushing the frequency of P4s to insane levels, i guess thats where the similarity ends.
Ah -- thus, until the FX series Phenoms come out, the "netburst" analogy doesn't fully apply. (Hopefully, it won't then either, if the performance is there and the chips don't catch on fire due to the heat.)
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#10
soldier242
hmmm and i thought that they'd pack a ddr2 and a ddr3 controller on one chip >_>, guess i didn't read good back then
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#11
Polarman
I look forward in seeing some benchies comparing AM2+ and AM3 using the same speed CPU.
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#12
soldier242
by: Polarman
I look forward in seeing some benchies comparing AM2+ and AM3 using the same speed CPU.
yup that would be pretty nice indeed :D
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#13
Abu Assar
by: soldier242
yup that would be pretty nice indeed :D


or deneb and agena using the same clock speed :D
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#14
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
They said something about them being interchangeable and also about them being backwards compatible. I wasnt entirely sure how they were gonna do DDR2 and DDR3 IMC on one chip though. Looks like they axed that plan.
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#15
flashstar
When Intel went to 90nm on the Prescott architecture they saw virtually no temperature drops. AMD is seeing a very healthy temperature decrease with its 45 nm cpu's. 140w to 95w for the same speed and a much greater L3 cache.
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#16
Hayder_Master
so what about phenom fx im still like it cuz 4.0ghz core clock , any news
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#17
soldier242
by: WarEagleAU
They said something about them being interchangeable and also about them being backwards compatible. I wasnt entirely sure how they were gonna do DDR2 and DDR3 IMC on one chip though. Looks like they axed that plan.
so am i getting it right that you just need one new board to house a DDR3 or a DDR2 phenom?
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#18
ChromeDome
i'm a little confused also. are these going to work with "old" AM2 boards as well as AM2+? the AM2 board in my specs, for instance?
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#19
jbunch07
by: PsychoTronn
i'm a little confused also. are these going to work with "old" AM2 boards as well as AM2+?
I believe its am2+ only.
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#20
ChromeDome
ah...i see. another quick read would bear that out

man some of us got left in the dust by AMD with our mobos. upgrade, upgrade, upgrade....

it never ends :(
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#21
jbunch07
by: PsychoTronn
ah...i see. another quick read would bear that out

man some of us got left in the dust by AMD with our mobos. upgrade, upgrade, upgrade....

it never ends :(
tell me about it. I've been through 3 motherboards in the past 9 months! :ohwell:
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#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: mdm-adph
Newtekie's world:

8M Cache on an Core 2 Chip: "Great chips -- that much added cache makes for great performance."

8M Cache on a Phenom: "Poor chips -- added cache is obviously a poor attempt to improve performance."

:wtf:

I agree with you that K10 is looking like the Pentium 4 of the current processor world, but it's got nothing to do with their choice of cache sizes. (It's got much more to do with the heat/performance ratio.)
Where did I say the added cache on a Core 2 Chip was great for performance? And the 8MB on the Core 2 chips have always been there, when Intel went to 45nm they added another 4MB, and it didn't really help performance any. Intel added cache because they could, AMD is adding cache to try and improve performance in a flop architecture.

mdm-adph's world: "[Phenom] performs on par with equal-clocked conroe parts":roll:

Your unconditional love for AMD has blinded you to the facts.

by: KBD
I think both you and newtekie hit the nail on the head, the heat/performance ratio and intro of large cache sizes reminds the revised K10 of netburst. But if i'm not mistaken Intel was alsopushing the frequency of P4s to insane levels, i guess thats where the similarity ends.
The Phenom's won't clock to the insane levels that the P4's could, but in terms of what we had now from the Phenom line-up the 3GHz stock clock is an insane level. But pushing clock speeds isn't really important. It is really what the processor companies want to do.
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#23
Mussels
Moderprator
by: jbunch07
tell me about it. I've been through 3 motherboards in the past 9 months! :ohwell:
oh how i remember AMD fans telling me in past days, how AMD didnt require contsant motherboard updates but intel did with their constant FSB changes.

at least its easy to tell if your CPU is supported on intel nowdays, amd has wattages, steppings, DDR2/3.... its just getting worse and worse.
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#24
KBD
by: newtekie1


The Phenom's won't clock to the insane levels that the P4's could, but in terms of what we had now from the Phenom line-up the 3GHz stock clock is an insane level. But pushing clock speeds isn't really important. It is really what the processor companies want to do.
Actually i wasn't referring to overclocking, i was talking about how Intel released P4 & Celerons in the above 3 gig stock frequencies. If i'm not mistaken they did overclock well after Intel moved to 90nm, and AMD stopped overclocking well after putting on onboard IMC. 3GHz for AMD is not insane thats why i said the similarity with netburst ends there. But you are right, there are parallels with netburst that we discussed above.
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#25
mdm-adph
by: newtekie1
Where did I say the added cache on a Core 2 Chip was great for performance? And the 8MB on the Core 2 chips have always been there, when Intel went to 45nm they added another 4MB, and it didn't really help performance any. Intel added cache because they could, AMD is adding cache to try and improve performance in a flop architecture.

mdm-adph's world: "[Phenom] performs on par with equal-clocked conroe parts":roll:

Your unconditional love for AMD has blinded you to the facts.
Oh, please -- I don't need a quote, I know you think it. You're basically supporting what I said by admitting that Intel added needless cache when they went to 45nm -- perhaps because they feared the potential of the Phenom? (Whether it was there or not, they were still adding cache when they perhaps didn't need to.) If it's silly for AMD to do it, it's silly for Intel -- believing anything else is hypocritical.

And as the multitude of posters showed in that thread you linked, I still don't think I was wrong in stating that about the Phenom. ;)

And "unconditional love?" When I basically agreed with you that the K10 might shape up to be the netburst of the current scene -- not to mention that I've been vocal about the colossal blunders AMD has made in the past (wasting time buying ATI, for one). That's not what I'd call "unconditional love," unless you're talking about some freaky S&M shit.
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