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AMD Readies 16-core Processors with Full Uncore

AMD released developer documentation for a new processor it's working on, and the way it's worded describes a chip with 8 modules, working out to 16 cores, on a single piece of silicon, referred to as Family 15h Models 30h - 3fh. This is not to be confused with the company's Opteron 6300-series "Abu Dhabi" chips, which are multi-chip modules of two 8-core dies, in the G34 package.

What's more, unlike the current "Abu Dhabi" and "Seoul" chips, the new silicon features a full-fledged uncore, complete with a PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex that's integrated into the processor die. In what's more proof that it's a single die with 8 modules and not an MCM of two dies with 4 modules each, the document describes the die as featuring four HyperTransport links; letting it pair with four other processors in 4P multi-socket configurations. Such systems would feature a total core count of 64. There's no clarity on which exact micro-architecture the CPU modules are based on. Without doubt, AMD is designing this chip for its Opteron enterprise product stack, but it should also give us a glimmer of hope that AMD could continue to serve up high-performance client CPU, only ones that can't be based on socket AM3+.

Source: Planet3DNow.de

ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer Detailed

Here's the first detailed body-shot of ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, which was teased by the company earlier today, and which could end up being one of the most feature-rich socket AM3+ motherboards, if the end is neigh for AM3+. Designed for gaming PCs with up to two graphics cards, although it features three long x16 slots, the Fatal1ty 990FX Killer is a full-size ATX motherboard. It's design appears to be more gamer-centric than overclocker-centric. It draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, with an optional 4-pin Molex connection to stabilize power to add-on cards; and conditions it for the AM3+ CPU using a 10-phase VRM that's cooled by an heatsink that's independent from that which cools the AMD 990FX northbridge (i.e. no heat-pipe linking the two). The AM3+ CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, which support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 MHz memory; and to the 990FX northbridge over a 5.2 GT/s HyperTransport link.

The AMD 990FX chipset puts out two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots, the third slot is electrical PCI-Express 2.0 x4, and possibly wired to the SB950 southbridge. The southbridge handles five internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, the sixth port is wired out as eSATA. The Fatal1ty 990FX Killer, as teased this morning, is among the first motherboards to feature an M.2 slot, extended out of a PCI-Express link. PCIe SSDs tend to be faster, as more interface bandwith is on tap. As many as six USB 3.0 ports are on offer, of which one switches between header and internal type-1 port (for those tuck-away software license keys) all of which are driven by third-party controllers. Wired networking is care of a Killer E2200 network controller, that's optimized for gaming. The board features 7.1-channel HD audio, with a high SNR CODEC, PCB ground-layer isolation (to prevent electrical noise), and an EMI shield for the CODEC; which ASRock collectively labels "Purity Sound." The board is driven by AMI UEFI BIOS, with full support for Windows 8 Secure Boot.

AMD Announces Opteron 4300 and 3300 Series Processors

AMD today unveiled nine new mid-range and entry-level AMD Opteron 4300 Series and 3300 Series server processors increasing performance per watt versus the previous generation to maximize compute capabilities in power-constrained environments1, while delivering outstanding value to cloud providers and web hosts. The AMD Opteron 3300 Series processors provide enterprise-class features in a low power envelope at a desktop processor price, making it ideal for web hosts and small- and medium-sized businesses.

The AMD Opteron 4300 Series processors offer up to 15 percent better performance versus the prior generation, based on SPECint benchmark results2. And SPECpower results show up to a 24 percent improvement in performance per watt. As with the AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors, these are socket compatible with the previous generation processor, providing an effortless upgrade path for customers.

Haswell-ULT Processors Could Use 24 MHz BClk, New C-States, and MCM to Cut Power Draw

Going into 2013, Intel's tough balancing act between keeping a low power/thermal envelope, and advancing performance, all while staying on the 22 nm silicon fab process, will be care of its Core "Haswell-ULT" processor. The chip will feature some radical changes to traditional Intel processor design, which will help it achieve its design goals. According to a deck of leaked slides scored by Expreview, Intel plans to use additional C-states that drop the processor's base clock, and redesign the processor package to accommodate the PCH silicon, reducing the board footprint.

To begin with, Haswell-ULT will be designed to support 24 MHz base clock speed, which running in "deep" energy-saving idle states. Modern processors with FSB replacement interconnect technologies such as QuickPath Interconnect and HyperTransport need a base clock to time other components on the processor, and for low-level communications, while a bulk of the data is transported by the primary interconnect. Intel found a way to turn off the 100 MHz base clock signal (which is also used to time the PCI-Express root complex and integrated graphics core), and replace it with a 24 MHz clock, when the processor is idling. As the processor returns to lower (more active) C-states, the 100 MHz base clock is reapplied. The 24 MHz base clock is activated by three new power states, C8, C9, and C10, introduced by Haswell-ULT. The third slide below details what happens to the various components in the new C-states.

AMD Launches the Opteron 6300 Series Server Processors

AMD today unveiled its new AMD Opteron 6300 Series server processors based on its next-generation "Piledriver" core architecture. The new AMD Opteron processors deliver superior performance and scalability for virtualized server platforms that are central to private and public cloud deployments, big data systems and high-performance computing (HPC) clusters. The AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors strike the ultimate balance between performance, scalability and cost effectiveness to help IT organizations lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

The AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors offer industry-leading performance in SPECjbb2005, a server benchmark used to evaluate Java performance, with up to 24 percent higher performance versus the prior generation AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors. Java is a critical element of the software ecosystem for next-generation data centers. Performance per watt is up to 40 percent higher than the prior generation solutions(2), which means businesses running robust large-scale software systems will be able to enjoy high performance as well as low TCO.

AMD Vishera Packs Quad-Channel DDR3 IMC, G34 En Route Desktop?

AMD might be a little sore that its "Zambezi" FX processor family based on its much-hyped "Bulldozer" architecture didn't quite meet the performance expectations of a ground-up new CPU architecture, but it doesn't want to take chances and build hype around the architecture that succeeds it. From various sources, some faintly-reliable, we have been hearing that the next-generation of high-performance desktop processors based on "Piledriver" architecture, codenamed "Vishera", will pack five modules or 10 cores, and will be structured essentially like Zambezi, since Piledriver is basically a refinement of Bulldozer architecture. The latest leak comes from the Software Optimization Guide for AMD 15h family (read here), which was picked up by CPU World while most of us were busy with CES.

CPU World compiled most of the features of what it suspected to be AMD referring to its future processors based on the Piledriver architecture, that's "Vishera" (desktop high-performance), "Terramar" (high-density server), and "Sepang" (small-medium business server) parts. The three are not the first chips to be based on Piledriver, AMD has a new mainstream desktop and notebook APU in the works codenamed "Trinity", which is en route for a little later this year. Trinity basically has an identical CPUID instruction-set as Vishera, Terramar, and Sepang, confirming their common lineage compared to today's "Bulldozer" architecture. The most catchy detail is of Vishera featuring 4 DDR3 channels.

TYAN Announces an Array of AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series Processor Platforms

TYAN, an industry-leading server platform manufacturer and a subsidiary of MiTAC International Corp., will announce its latest platforms that fully support the latest 32nm AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors (NYSE: AMD) at SC11. TYAN will be presenting a live demo of its GN70-B8236-IL, a powerful and cost-effective GPU/HPC 2U server solution installed with two AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors and two AMD FirePro V8800P Graphic Cards at TYAN booth #4202 during the show.

TYAN will be showcasing its broad portfolio featuring AMD Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors which ensure that customers experience power efficiency, performance, scalability and management flexibility via features such as AMD Turbo CORE technology and HyperTransport 3.0 Technology. TYAN offers a total of 13 AMD G34 solutions that support the 16-Core AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors which deliver advanced performance for complex workloads and offer flexible scalability for expanding HPC requirements. TYAN also offers six AMD C32 platforms which are compatible with AMD Opteron 4200 Series processors and target applications ranging from general purpose computing to highly-threaded mission-critical applications such as SMB cloud computing, web servers as well as VM applications and virtual machines.

AMD FX 8100 Surfaces on HP Pavilion Desktop

AMD's third 8-core desktop processor model is available through OEMs such as HP. Called the AMD FX-8100, this chip is the most affordable among the available FX-8000 series chips (that's FX-8120 and FX-8150), and according to HP's component pricing, about $80 cheaper than the FX-8150. The AMD FX-8100 is a base model processor option for HP Pavilion HPE h8z desktop. It can be configured to have FX-8150 instead, for $80 over the base price of the desktop, of $830.

The FX-8100, like every other FX Series processor, features an unlocked base clock multiplier to help with overclocking. The chip is clocked at 2.80 GHz, with TurboCore technology, all eight cores can overclock themselves to 3.10 GHz. To handle tasks that aren't multi-threaded, the chip can overclock some of its cores (up to four of them), all the way up to 3.70 GHz. Like every other FX-8000 series chip, the FX-8100 packs 16 MB of total cache (8 MB total L2 + 8 MB L3), features an advanced instruction set of AVX, AES, XOP, SSE 4.2/4.1/4a, and a system interface of 5.2 GT/s with HyperTransport 3.1.

Source: CPU World

AMD Readies Opteron 4200 ''Valencia'' Line for 1P/2P Servers

In early September, AMD announced that it started shipping the first processors based on the "Bulldozer" architecture, in the enterprise-centric Opteron 6100 "Interlagos" family. Opteron 6100 chips are capable of 4P (four-socket) servers, and feature up to 12 cores. AMD isn't stopping at the Opteron 6100 series, it has a new line of Opteron processors based on the same "Bulldozer" architecture, that targets small and medium enterprises. The line is codenamed "Valencia", its parts are filed under the Opteron 4200 series.

Opteron 4200 "Valencia" consists of 6-core and 8-core parts in the s1207 package. These chips are capable of single socket and two socket (2P) server setups, because while Opteron 6100 "Interlagos" has four HyperTransport links, Opteron 4200 has just two, so a processor can use its two links to connect to the SR56x0 I/O hub and the other processor. Opteron 4200 series consists of four 8-core models: Opteron 4284, Opteron 4280, Opteron 4274HE, and Opteron 4256EE; and four 6-core models: Opteron 4238, Opteron 4234, Opteron 4228HE, and Opteron 4226.

Source: CPU World

AMD Paves the Way for the Next Gen. of Supercharged Desktop PCs with 9-Series Chipset

AMD today launched its 9-Series chipset line-up today, helping PC builders to develop next generation high performance desktop platforms. The company also unveiled its 2011 HD Tablet Platform, based on the AMD Z-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), enabling vivid media display and content creation capabilities for the fast-growing market of Microsoft Windows-based tablets. These new AMD products are designed to enable more immersive digital experiences for the PC and tablet markets.

“As consumer appetites for more compelling, lifelike visual experiences increase, there is greater need for high performance, smooth, vibrant graphics as well as unparalleled computing power,” said John Taylor, product marketing director, AMD. “From tablets to desktops, AMD is making powerful computing accessible to everyone.”

ASUS 990FX Sabertooth Motherboard Pictured

With the socket AM3+ platform, ASUS wants to rally around its top motherboard brands, including Republic of Gamers (ROG), with the ASUS Crosshair V Formula, and the The Ultimate Force (TUF) Sabertooth 990FX, for AMD's next top of the line 990FX chipset that is designed to run up to four discrete graphics cards. The 990FX Sabertooth keeps up with the color scheme of the other TUF-series members. It boasts of highly durable components. The AM3+ socket is powered by a 10-phase Digi+ VRM. It is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel DDR3-1866 MHz memory, and connects to the 990FX chipset over a HyperTransport 3.1 link.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (configurable as x16/x4/x8/x8, x16/x4/x16/NC, depending on how they're populated); The electrical x4 slot is wired to the SB950 southbridge, and is placed there to hold PCI-Express SSDs. One each of PCI-E x1 and PCI make for the rest of the expansion. Storage connectivity includes six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports supporting RAID, two internal SATA 3 Gb/s from a third-party controller, one power-eSATA/USB combo, and one normal eSATA on the rear panel.

AMD Intros Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Quad-Core Processor

Today AMD released to market its latest quad-core processor, the Pheonom II X4 980 Black Edition. The new, faster SKU was first reported to be taking shape back in March. Based on the 45 nm "Deneb" silicon and K10.5 architecture, the X4 980 BE is yet another speed-bump, clocked at 3.70 GHz (18.5 x 200 MHz), with room for some overclocking thanks to its unlocked BClk multiplier.

The Deneb die packs four x86-64 cores with 512 KB caches each, and a shared 6 MB L3 cache. Despite its high clock speed, the processor maintains TDP of 125W. Its IMC supports dual-channel DDR3/DDR2 memory, and is backwards compatible with AM2+ socket apart from its native AM3 socket. HyperTransport 4 GT/s is its chipset interconnect. The new processor is priced at US $195.

TYAN Launches Quad Socket G34 Server for AMD Opteron 6100 Series Processors

TYAN, an industry-leading server platform manufacturer, and a subsidiary of MiTAC International Corp., today launched a new 4U server system designed for CPU-intensive and HPC applications that supports four AMD Opteron 6100 series processors. TYAN offers both the 4-way S8812WGM3NR motherboard, as well as the B8821F48W8R server platform.

ZOTAC Unleashes Duo of AMD 800 Series Mini-ITX Platforms

ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world’s largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today unleashes a duo of mini-ITX platforms designed for optimal energy-efficiency, home theatre PC and powered by AMD 800 series chipsets – including the world’s first AMD mobile-on-desktop platform - the new ZOTAC M880G-ITX WiFi - and the socket AM3 compatible 880G-ITX WiFi.

Powered by AMD 800 series chipsets, the ZOTAC M880G-ITX WiFi and 880G-ITX WiFi platforms deliver a premium AMD experience in a mini-ITX form factor with USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 Gb/s and 802.11n WiFi technologies. High-performance integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 series graphics processor enables stunning visuals with Microsoft DirectX 10.1 technology.

Zambezi AM3+ Core Logic Slated for Q2-2011

AMD's upcoming "Bulldozer" architecture based processors that use a new socket type, the AM3+, are slated for Q2, 2011. To complement its launch, AMD will be launching the 9-series chipset series, consisting of four kinds of desktop chipset. The lineup starts with the AMD 990FX, the high-end 4-way CrossFireX-ready chipset, geared for high-end motherboards. Next up, is the 990X. This discrete graphics chipset is also ready for CrossFireX, but has just 16 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes to spare for graphics, platforms based on this will feature two PCI-Express x16 slots which reconfigure to electrical x8 slots when both are populated.

The third is an entry-level discrete graphics chipset that doesn't support CrossFire, but can spare one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot for discrete graphics, it's the AMD 970. Lastly, there's the 980G integrated graphics chipset, which features a DirectX 10.1 compliant IGP, which supports UVD 2.0 video acceleration. For some reason, this chipset doesn't support older AM3 processors, but only AM3+. The other chipsets in the series however, do support existing socket AM3 Athlon II and Phenom II series processors. All four northbridge chipsets support HyperTransport 3.0 processor interconnect, supporting data rates of up to 5.2 GT/s.

Bulldozer-based Orochi and Fusion Llano Die Shots Surface in GlobalFoundaries Event

The first official die-shots of the first Bulldozer architecture derivative, the eight-core "Orochi" Opteron die was displayed at Global Technology Conference, by GlobalFoundries, AMD's principal foundry-partner. While AMD did not give out a die-map to go with it, the structures we can make out are four Bulldozer modules holding two cores and a shared L2 cache each, a L3 cache spread across four blocks that's shared between all cores, the northbridge-portion cutting across the die at the center, and the integrated memory controller along its far-right side. Various I/O portions are located along the other three sides.

Next up is the Llano die. This is AMD's very first Fusion APU (accelerated processing unit) die. It is based on the K10 architecture and integrates a graphics processor and northbridge completely into one die. It precedes APUs based on the Bobcat architecture. Fortunately, there is a die-map at hand, which shows four K10 cores with dedicated 1 MB L2 caches per core, no L3 cache, an integrated SIMD array that holds 480 stream processors. The GPU component is DirectX 11 compliant. Other components include an integrated northbridge, integrated memory controller, integrated PCI-Express root complex, and HyperTransport interface to the chipset.

AMD Details Bulldozer Processor Architecture

AMD is finally going to embrace a truly next generation x86 processor architecture that is built from ground up. AMD's current architecture, the K10(.5) "Stars" is an evolution of the more market-successful K8 architecture, but it didn't face the kind of market success as it was overshadowed by competing Intel architectures. AMD codenamed its latest design "Bulldozer", and it features an x86 core design that is radically different from anything we've seen from either processor giants. With this design, AMD thinks it can outdo both HyperThreading and Multi-Core approaches to parallelism, in one shot, as well as "bulldoze" through serial workloads with a broad 8 integer pipeline per core, (compared to 3 on K10, and 4 on Westmere). Two almost-individual blocks of integer processing units share a common floating point unit with two 128-bit FMACs.

AMD is also working on a multi-threading technology of its own to rival Intel's HyperThreading, that exploits Bulldozer's branched integer processing backed by shared floating point design, which AMD believes to be so efficient, that each SMT worker thread can be deemed a core in its own merit, and further be backed by competing threads per "core". AMD is working on another micro-architecture codenamed "Bobcat", which is a downscale implementation of Bulldozer, with which it will take on low-power and high performance per Watt segments that extend from all-in-One PCs all the way down to hand-held devices and 8-inch tablets. We will explore the Bulldozer architecture in some detail.

ASUS Readies AMD-based Eee PC 1015T Netbook

ASUS' Eee PC series of netbooks is finally going to get an AMD-based model, the 1015T. This 10.1 inch netbook has a 1024 x 600 pixel screen, and is driven by an AMD V105 single-core processor based on the K8 architecture. The V105 is a 45 nm based processor with 1.20 GHz clock speed, HyperTransport 2 GT/s system interface, 128 KB of L1 and 512 KB of L2 cache, and a TDP of 9W. The processor is accompanied by RS880 chipset, with integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics. The 1015T packs 512 MB of memory, 250 or 320 GB HDD with 500 GB of web-based storage, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 (optional), and a battery with up to 6 hours of operation on a full-charge. There is no word on its pricing.

Source: Engadget

AMD Introduces Six New Athlon II Processor Models

AMD let loose no less than six new processor models in its value-mainstream Athlon II series. Spread across its dual-core (X2), triple-core (X3), and quad-core (X4) lines, the new models seek to displace existing ones from their price-points and hold key value market positions. Leading the pack is the Athlon II X4 640. Based on the 45 nm Propus die, the X4 640 has a clock speed of 3.00 GHz (15 x 200 MHz), with 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 4 GT/s HyperTransport 3.0 interface. Built on the AM3 package, the X4 640 supports DDR3 and DDR2 memory standards. It has a TDP of 95W. This chip is priced at $122. The second quad-core model is the energy-efficient Athlon II X4 610e. With a clock speed of 2.40 GHz (12 x 200 MHz), the X4 610e comes with half the TDP of standard models, just 45W. Energy efficiency comes at a small premium, with the X4 610e going for $145 a piece.

The triple-core Athlon II X3 series also gets two additions, with the X3 445 and X3 415e. The X3 445 is based on the Rana die (Propus with one core disabled), and has L2 cache of 512 KB per core. It is clocked at 3.10 GHz (15.5 x 200 MHz), and has a TDP of 95W. It is priced at $87. The energy-efficient X3 415e is clocked at 2.50 GHz (12.5 x 200 MHz), has 45W TDP, and is priced at $102. Dual-core Athlon II X2 chips get the same treatment, with a new fast and energy-efficient model, each. Based on the 45 nm Regor die, the Athlon II X2 has two physical cores with 1 MB of L2 cache per core. The Athlon II X2 260 introduced now, has a clock speed of 3.20 GHz (16 x 200 MHz), 65W TDP, and is priced at $76. The energy-efficient X2 245e is clocked at 2.90 GHz (14.5 x 200 MHz), and has a TDP of 45W. This one goes for $77. All prices are per unit in 1000-unit tray quantities.

Biostar Releases TA890FXE Motherboard with BIO-unlocKING

BIOSTAR MICROTECH INT’L CORP., a professional manufacturer of motherboards today reveals its new “TA890FXE” motherboard with “BIO-unlocKING” utility that makes it possible to turn a budget quad-core version of a CPU into full six-cores for significant computing gains.

AMD new Phenom II X6 processor with 890FX chipset combination, a high-powered computing platform designed to meet the demand of today’s gaming enthusiasts. The AMD Phenom II X6 processor can switch between utilizing two or three cores for functions such as running productivity software to six cores for content creation and immersive 3D applications.

AMD Delivers Elite Visual Computing Performance with Latest Desktop Platform

AMD announced the immediate availability of the AMD Phenom II X6 processor and AMD 890FX chipset ushering in a new era of immersive 3D entertainment and visualization. Trailblazing consumers seeking immersive 3D entertainment and high definition multi-monitor display now can affordably upgrade to six-core performance and award-winning ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics. Today also marks the availability of the flagship AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition processor, AMD’s fastest and most tunable desktop processor ever.

“With AMD Phenom II X6 processors, discerning customers can build an incredible, immersive entertainment system and content creation powerhouse,” said Bob Grim, director of Client Platform Marketing at AMD. “AMD is answering the call for elite desktop PC performance and features at an affordable price.”

AMD Launches New Complete Platforms for Embedded Systems

At Embedded Systems Conference today, AMD announced two new complete platforms for the embedded market, the compact ASB2 platform and the high-performance AM3 platform, that offer myriad combinations of power and performance with up to 74 percent improvement in performance-per-watt over previous generations. AMD’s new flexible embedded platforms consist of chipset and graphics solutions along with high-performance CPUs as low as 8W TDP for the ideal solution based on application requirements. System designers focusing on their next-generation products can see immediate benefits commonly associated with industry-standard x86 processors, including streamlined design and development, a large software ecosystem, and fast time-to-market.

“The barriers to widespread adoption of x86 in the broad embedded market have traditionally been a combination of power, price and the physical footprint of the silicon,” said Buddy Broeker, director, Embedded Solutions Division, AMD. “AMD’s embedded solutions have been steadily driving down those barriers while adding enterprise-class performance and features that may not have been readily available to designers in the past. Our commitment to the embedded market grows stronger as we look to a future introduction of AMD Fusion technology products into the embedded space.”

AMD Sets the New Standard for Price, Performance, and Power for the Datacenter

AMD announces availability of a new server platform featuring the world’s first 8- and 12-core x86 processor for the high-volume 2P and value 4P server market. The AMD Opteron 6000 Series platform addresses the unmistakable needs of server customers today - workload-specific performance, power efficiency, and overall value - while delivering more cores and more memory for less money. Leading OEMs including HP, Dell, Acer Group, Cray, and SGI are introducing new systems based on this highly scalable and reliable platform.

“As AMD has done before, we are again redefining the server market based on current customer requirements,” said Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager, Server and Embedded Divisions, AMD. “The AMD Opteron 6000 Series platform signals a new era of server value, significantly disrupts today’s server economics and provides the performance-per-watt, value and consistency customers demand for their real-world data center workloads.”

AMD Phenom II X6 'Thuban' and Phenom II X4 'Zosma' Tabled on Roadmaps

A list of new Phenom II series processors were tabled in a company road map. The road map confirms AMD's naming scheme for the Phenom II X6 brand, and also sheds light on a new line of quad-core processors. In the second quarter of this year, AMD will introduce Phenom II X6 six-core models 1075T, 1055T, and 1035T. While the 1075T has a TDP of 125W, the 1055T comes in 125W and 95W variants (likely one following the other), and 1035T is the slowest model with 95W TDP. All Phenom II X6 models are based on the Thuban core (a desktop, socket AM3 implementation of the Istanbul die). Each of the six cores has 128 KB of L1, 512 KB L2 caches, and a 6 MB L3 cache is shared between all cores. The HyperTransport 3.0 interconnect operates at 4.8 GT/s.

The new line of quad-core processors here, is the Phenom II X4 900T series. The first member in this series is the Phenom II X4 960T. These processors are created using Thuban dies by disabling two cores. It helps AMD salvage its foundry produce with minor defects, and also target lower price points. The resulting die is codenamed "Zosma". Zosma in X4 960T has a TDP of 95W. Probably it has a lower clock speed than the "Deneb" Phenom II X4 965, but is placed in the same league, in terms of performance. One of its biggest "unintentional" unique selling points is that since it's based on a die that has six physical cores, some customers could get lucky by unlocking them to a six-core processor, at a much lower price-point. Even as several motherboard manufacturers have innovated ways to unlock disabled cores, and are advertising their unlocking features, it is not guaranteed that a Zosma would unlock into Thuban, just as Callisto/Heka to Deneb unlocking doesn't always work out. Going by AMD's road map, these processors will be released some time in May.

Source: ATIForum.de

AMD Platform Meets Lucid Hydra on MSI 870A-GD60 Hydra

MSI has undertaken a very interesting project: to use the Lucid Hydra chip on an AMD platform motherboard, its second design with Lucid Hydra. The 870A-GD60 Hydra is a socket AM3 motherboard based on the AMD 870 + SB850 chipset. The AMD 870 chipset succeeds the AMD 770, in being suited for single discrete-graphics setups. The chipset packs no PCI-Express external switching, and hence there is only one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 link it can give to a graphics card. MSI connected this link to a Hydra Engine chip, to give out two full-bandwidth PCI-Express 2.0 x16 links. "Why not simply use the 890FX?" could be a question for many, but its answer lies in Hydra's advantage over it: it allows you to pair two NVIDIA graphics cards, two ATI graphics cards, or even mix an NVIDIA and an ATI card in a mixed multi-GPU array, as has been demonstrated with MSI's P55 Big Bang Fuzion motherboard.

The AM3 socket is powered by a 10-phase DrMOS based VRM. The CPU connects to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel memory. It connects to the AMD 870 northbridge over the HyperTransport 3.0 interface. Its lone PCI-E 2.0 x16 port is taken up by the Hydra Engine chip located between the two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. Other expansion slots include three PCI-E x1, and one PCI. The SB850 southbridge gives out six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Connectivity includes 8 channel HD audio with SPDIF connections, eSATA by an additional controller, FireWire, two USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The 870A-GD60 Hydra could be released late next month.


Source: Tweakers.net
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