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Intel Haswell TSX Erratum as Grave as AMD Barcelona TLB Erratum

Intel's "Haswell" micro-architecture introduced the transactional synchronization extensions (TSX) as part of its upgraded feature-set over its predecessor. The instructions are designed to speed up certain types of multithreaded software, and although it's too new for any major software vendor to implement, some of the more eager independent software developers began experimenting with them, only to discover that TSX is buggy and can cause critical software failures.

The buggy TSX implementation on Core "Haswell" processors was discovered by a developer outside Intel, who reported it to the company, which then labeled it as an erratum (a known design flaw). Intel is addressing the situation by releasing a micro-code update to motherboard manufacturers, who will then release it as a BIOS update to customers. The update disables TSX on affected products (Core and Xeon "Haswell" retail, and "Broadwell-Y" engineering samples).

BitFenix Releases Vented Side Panel Accessory for the Phenom Chassis

Dedicated to serving the community, BitFenix is releasing the often-requested Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory. Featuring an array of ventilation holes, these side panel accessories are designed to further enhance the Phenom's cooling performance.

The Phenom Vented Side Panel Accessory is a simple way to increase heat dissipation and airflow for your Phenom case. Available in black and white models, this accessory installs in seconds, and adds ventilation holes directly across your graphics card.

BitFenix Introduces the Phenom PC Chassis

Today, BitFenix is proud to officially announce Phenom, the newest creation from the BitFenix Design Lab. Featuring clean, uncluttered styling and tremendous build flexibility, Phenom represents the perfect marriage of advanced functionality with next-level SFF design for a case that's sure to be an instant classic.

Engineered to be a sleek modern cube design that suits any environment, fans of clean and elegant chassis are going to feel right at home with Phenom. The mesh accents along the sides of the case perfectly complement the smooth surfaces of the SofTouch-coated top and front panels. In the center is a highly-polished BitFenix logo that contrasts the subtle matte contours perfectly, creating a design that is ideal for any modern décor. And because different systems have different requirements, Phenom comes in both mini-ITX and micro-ATX variants to meet the needs of an even larger group of users.

AMD Realizes That Bulldozer Has 800 Million LESS Transistors Than It Thought!

AMD's new flagship Bulldozer "FX" series of processors have turned out to be mediocre performers in almost every review and benchmark going, sometimes even getting bested by the existing Phenom II and certainly no match for their Intel competition. To add to this tale of fail, it now turns out that AMD didn't even know how many transistors they have! Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech received an email from AMD's PR department and this is the revelation he had to share with us:
This is a bit unusual. I got an email from AMD PR this week asking me to correct the Bulldozer transistor count in our Sandy Bridge E review. The incorrect number, provided to me (and other reviewers) by AMD PR around 3 months ago was 2 billion transistors. The actual transistor count for Bulldozer is apparently 1.2 billion transistors. I don't have an explanation as to why the original number was wrong, just that the new number has been triple checked by my contact and is indeed right. The total die area for a 4-module/8-core Bulldozer remains correct at 315 mm².

AMD To Give Up Competing With Intel On x86? CPU Prices Already Shooting Up

It looks like the Bulldozer disaster might have been too much of a setback for AMD to recover from. After 30 years of competing with Intel in the x86 processor market, AMD is about to give up, even with the 2009 1.25bn antitrust settlement they extracted from them. Mike Silverman, AMD company spokesman said, "We're at an inflection point. We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore." He was vague on the exact strategy that AMD intends to pursue from now on, though. However, the company is widely expected to make a concerted effort to break into the smartphones and tablets market. The big problem with this strategy unfortunately, is that this arena is currently dominated by many other competitors. On top of that, their arch enemy Intel is also trying to muscle in on this space, hence AMD could find themselves back at square one, or likely even further back. AMD's graphics cards are doing well at the moment though and are quite competitive, so it looks like their expensive purchase of ATI back in 2006, might yet save the company from extinction. If they become primarily a graphics card company, they will inevitably end up a lot smaller than they are now though and that’s a lot of lost jobs and personal hardship, along with a monopoly x86 market remaining and all of its negative effects on the market.

NVIDIA SLI & Intel Core I7 Extreme Ed. CPUs Power World's Fastest Desktop Gaming PCs

NVIDIA today announced that system builders worldwide are now shipping the fastest PC gaming platforms ever built, thanks in part to NVIDIA SLI technology and the just-released Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processors and X79 chipset-based motherboards.

The combination of NVIDIA SLI technology -- which allows for multiple GPUs to run on a single PC -- and new X79-based motherboards allow gamers to customize their PC experience with up to four NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs, including the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570, the world's fastest DX11 GPUs. Licensed by the world's leading motherboard manufacturers -- including Intel, ASUS, ASRock, EVGA, Foxconn, Gigabyte and MSI, SLI technology is crucial for playing this year's hottest graphics-intensive games, such as the recently released Battlefield 3 and upcoming Batman: Arkham City with detail, resolution and immersion settings cranked up.

Bulldozer Aims For 50% Improvement By 2014: Is This Really Enough To Counter Intel?

The reviews are now out for AMD's brand new Bulldozer architecture, in the form of the Zambezi FX 8120 & FX 8150 processors and they don't paint a pretty picture of these flagship products. The chips use lots of power, run hot and significantly underperform compared to their Intel competition. On top of that, they are being marketed as 8 core processors, when they are actually 4 core with an advanced form of multi-threading, due to the siamesed nature of each dual processor module. Perhaps to counter this negative publicity and try to restore some faith in the AMD brand, they have released a roadmap for the planned improvements to the architecture, all the way to 2014 – an ambitious timeline, given how much and how unexpectedly things can change at the cutting edge of the technology world.

TSeries TA990FXE Leads AM3+ Charge for Biostar

Biostar is keeping a low profile with high-end motherboards, these days. It's been a long while since the company released its last TPower-branded motherboard, but has been pushing its 'value' TSeries motherboards into every segment. One such offering for the AMD socket AM3+ platform is the Biostar TSeries TA990FXE. Based on the AMD 990FX + SB950 chipset, this board packs a lot of high-end styling with its heatsinks and components load-out. It packs a 4+1 phase VRM to power the AM3+ socket, and dual-channel DDR3 memory. Current generation Phenom II, and future FX Series processors are supported.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x16/x4/x16/x4), and two PCI. There are five internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, with the sixth one being assigned as eSATA. Most other connectivity is fairly standard for this category, you've got 8-channel HD audio, four USB 3.0 ports (two by header), and gigabit Ethernet. The board features standard AMIBIOS, and some overclocker-accessible features such as power/reset switches and diagnostic LED.

BIOSTAR Unveils its AMD 880G Based Motherboard Series

BIOSTAR MICROTECH INT’L CORP., a professional manufacturer of motherboards today talks about new AMD 880G chipset market position and introduces BIOSTAR 880G based motherboard line up, including two T-Series “TA880G HD”, “TA880GB HD” and “A880G HD” motherboards.

At first, we all know that AMD 880G chipset is used to replace 785G. We’ve known that 890GX will replace 790GX become the most high-end integrated chipset, while mainstream product 785G will be replaced by 880G. This product will become AMDs main force of chipset in this year.

ASRock Announces UCC-Featuring 890GX Extreme3 Motherboard

Do you desire for a free CPU upgrade? Of course, you do! ASRock Inc. today launched the UCC [Unlock CPU Core] Series motherboard that delivers added core processing power by enabling the ASRock exclusive UCC function of the AMD CPUs. Unprecedentedly integrated with ASRock exclusive UCC Chip, ASRock UCC function is well-designed to provide extra performance boost on ASRock UCC Series motherboards. In conjunction with AMD’s 8XX Series chipsets, ASRock 890GX Extreme3 motherboard, the first UCC series motherboard, comes with unique UCC feature and supports both advanced rendering from HD 4290, DX10.1 graphics technology and ATI Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX technologies.

Equipped with an exclusive ASRock UCC Chip, ASRock 890GX Extreme3 is able to support the excellent UCC function. ASRock UCC feature allows users to enjoy an instant performance boost by simply tuning on the UCC switch on BIOS. ASRock 890GX Extreme3 is the ASRock True 333 series motherboards. The board offers the latest SATA3 6.0Gb/s and USB 3.0 5.0Gb/s technologies from the industry-leading NEC support. The real I/O includes 1 x external SATA3 connector through the Bundled eSATA3 Bracket and 2 x USB 3.0 ports for 10X faster data transfer speed. For memory part, it supports 4 X DDR3 1800(OC), Hyper Transport Bus 5200 MT/s, ATI Quad CrossFireX and 3-Way CrossFireX. For audio aspect, it features 7.1 CH, VIA 2020 audio codec with Premium Blu-ray audio support. Combined with advanced rendering from AMD Radeon HD 4290, DX10.1 graphics, ASRock 890GX Extreme3 offers the spectacular visual output (output options include: D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI) as well.

AMD Changes the Game with ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series, Harnessing the Most Powerful GPU

AMD today launched the most powerful processor ever created, found in its next-generation graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics cards, and the world’s first and only to fully support Microsoft DirectX 11, the new gaming and compute standard shipping shortly with Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Boasting up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS of compute power, the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series effectively doubles the value consumers can expect of their graphics purchases, delivering twice the performance-per-dollar of previous generations of graphics products. AMD will initially release two cards: the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and the ATI Radeon HD 5850, each with 1GB GDDR5 memory. With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cards, PC users can expand their computing experience with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology, accelerate their computing experience with ATI Stream technology, and dominate the competition with superior gaming performance and full support of Microsoft DirectX 11, making it a “must-have” consumer purchase just in time for Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

“With the ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of graphics cars driven by the most powerful processor on the planet, AMD is changing the game, both in terms of performance and the experience,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Products Group, AMD. “As the first to market with full DirectX 11 support, an unmatched experience made possible with ATI Eyefinity technology, and ATI Stream technology harnessing open standards designed to help make Windows 7 that much better, I can say with confidence that AMD is the undisputed leader in graphics once more.”

Sapphire Announces Pure AMD 785G Motherboard

SAPPHIRE Technology has just released a new feature packed mainboard based on the highly acclaimed 785G chipset from AMD, supporting the latest AMD Phenom ll processor families with DDR3 memory and on-board DX10.1 graphics as well as PCI-Express 2.0.

The SAPPHIRE PURE 785G (part number PI-AM3RS785G) is a fully featured mainboard in standard microATX format combining the powerful AMD 785G Chipset and AMD SB710 south bridge. Two DIMM slots support up to 8GB of DDR3 1333/1600 memory and there is an on-board 128MBit DDR3 sideport memory. The integrated high speed 3GB/s SATA hard drive interface caters for up to 6 devices with optional RAID functions, and there is also an Ultra DMA IDE connector. On board features include GigaBit LAN and 6-channel HD Audio with 3D audio capability as well as support for up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 devices.

ASUS Announces ROG Crosshair III Formula, Set Your Sights on Blazing Benchmarks

ASUS, the world's leading producer of motherboards, today put world record-breaking power into the hands of AMD Phenom II users with the launch of the ROG (Republic of Gamers) Crosshair III Formula. Based on the AMD Socket AM3 platform, the Crosshair III Formula harnesses its full complement of ROG-exclusive features and technologies to unleash the full overclocking potential of Phenom II processors—enabling budget-conscious enthusiasts and gamers to enjoy extreme levels of performance at an affordable mid-price point.

AMD Intros CPU Price Cuts, Makes Space for New Products

AMD has implemented price-cuts for its desktop CPUs under the Athlon X2, Phenom and Phenom II series. The price cuts affect Athlon X2 model 7750, Phenom X3 models 8750, 8650 and 8450, and the company's current flagship product Phenom II X4 940. The Phenom X3 8750 in particular, is pushed into the $100 mark with its 26% reduction in price.

With the revised price-table, AMD looks to make space for three upcoming products that include the much awaited Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition. Expected to have reached retail in the US on April 20, the chip has been pushed to a later date, when the company plans four launches in all: Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 945, Athlon X2 7850, and AMD Overdrive 3 software.

Phenom II X4 945 is a 3.0 GHz quad-core processor with its multiplier locked at 16x, while the Athlon X2 7850 takes over as the company's flagship dual-core chip spec'd at 2.80 GHz, 3 MB of total cache, and a TDP of 95W. The chip is based on the 65 nm Kuma core. Phenom II X4 955 has already received listings in Europe, where it is priced at €229.90 including taxes.

Source: Hardware-Infos

NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI Reference Platform Motherboard Pictured

Pursuing legal action against Intel for bringing its Intel-compatible platform development to a grinding halt due to legal complications, NVIDIA has kept its platform development for AMD on track. The company has made the nForce 980a SLI platform official, that supports the latest Phenom II series processors from AMD. The company published the product page on its website, and has pictured its reference design motherboard based on the chipset. The motherboard carries the "designed by NVIDIA" marking, which makes it a design that several of its AIC partners such as EVGA, XFX, Zotac, etc., can use simultaneously.

The motherboard sports the nForce 980a SLI chipset, paired with the nForce 200 PCI-Express bridge chip. The motherboard features a GeForce 8300-class IGP, with DVI-D and D-Sub outputs. It supports NVIDIA 3-way SLI and Quad-SLI. As an AMD platform, the chipset supports AM2, AM2+ and AM3 socket processors, with DDR3 and DDR2 memory support (depending on the processor). A 5-phase digital PWM circuit powers the processor. The nForce 980a SLI and nForce 200 chips are located adjacent to each other, and are cooled actively by a fan-heatsink. The product design looks production-grade and may attract partners to sell it.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Could be Arriving on April 20th

New information from German tech site Hardware-Infos, has lead to the news that AMD's fastest CPU, the Phenom II X4 955, could be available from April 20th this year. Using the AM3 socket, the CPU is made using AMD's latest 45 nm fabrication process, and is clocked in at 3.2 GHz (16*200 MHz). Sporting 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and a 6 MB L3 cache, AMD have managed to match the 125 W TDP of the recently released Phenom II X4 940.


Sources: Expreview , Hardware-Infos

AMD Clarifies Erratum 379 ''DDR3-1333'', More Than a Fix in Works

AMD found itself in a tricky situation with its launch schedule for the DDR3-supportive AM3 socket platform: the revision guide document for 10h family of processors disclosed a rather serious erratum with the processors, with the company not recommending the use of more than two DDR3-1333 memory modules in all, or more than one module per memory channel, stating unreliable operation as consequence (more here). We rose doubts on a certain statement in the document circling around what we saw as a potential solution to the problem, and hence sought the company's comment.

AMD replied to us with a set of things, not necessarily interrelated, though in some way connected to the erratum, and the company's approach towards the DDR3 memory standard:
  • AMD confirms the issue as stated by the revision guide document, and is indeed working on a solution. The issue does not affect, in any way, using one DDR3-1333 memory module per channel
  • The company has already specified the safest workaround for the issue: specifying the memory modules to run at the speeds of PC3-8500, 533 MHz (DDR3-1066). One can refer to hardware literature on how to do that
  • AMD has given guidance to motherboard vendors on this issue. Some motherboards could rectify the issue by themselves, by operating the memory modules at PC3-8500 specifications. The incentive of tightening DRAM timings stays
  • Good news for overclockers: You will be able to override the memory frequency control by motherboards, and can attempt to tweak frequencies at will. AMD product warranties, as always, don't cover damages caused by overclocking, even when overclocking is enabled via AMD Software
  • Better news: Indications are that AMD is doing a lot more than creating a workaround for this issue, it may be devising a new feature altogether that, in the end, upholds the company's initiative to be enthusiast-friendly. Furthermore, AMD iterates that it is its intention to provide higher DDR3 frequencies as DDR3 becomes more prevalent

AMD Desktop CPU Schedule Updated

AMD, on the brink of making a start with its first desktop CPUs made on the 45nm manufacturing process, seems to have updated time-frames in which it will introduce new CPUs and manage inventories of currently available CPUs. Data compiled by DigiTimes from sources in the motherboard manufacturing industry points towards the following in 2009:
  • The introduction of four new SKUs in the months of April, that include Athlon X4 (Propus core) 615 and 605, Athlon X3 (Rana core) 420 and 410, followed by Athlon X2 (Regor core) 240 and 235 in June
  • Last orders for Phenom X4 9850 and 9950 (140W) to be taken in March, Phenom X4 9750, 9850 (95W) and 9950 (125W) will be in June, before which Phenom II X4 920 and 940 in May (in most likelihood replaced by models 925 and 945)
  • Phase-out of Phenom X3 8450 and 8550 started, that of Phenom X3 8650 in March followed by Phenom X3 8850 and 8750 in June
  • Last order notice for Athlon X2 4450e to be issued in March
Source: DigiTimes

Phenom II X4 940 Tested at Stock Speeds

BreakTheLimt.net, a Malaysian hardware portal tested the Phenom II X4 940 at its stock speed of 3.00 GHz, and posted a sting of benchmark results of the said chip. It was tested on a platform consisting of a MSI DKA790GX Platinum motherboard, with 2 GB of DDR2 1066 MHz memory and a ASUS Radeon HD 4870 TOP graphics card. All components were set to run at stock speeds. The chip was put through Super Pi 1M and 32M, Cinebench R10, PiFast Multithreaded, WPrime 1.5, Aquamark and 3DMark06.


Source: BreakTheLimit.net

AMD Price Cuts for Month November Announced

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has sent a newsletter to its channel partners today, informing them for yet another price cut that affects the company's desktop processor line-up. Several Phenom X4, Phenom X3 and Athlon X2 processors will be 10 to 20 percent cheeper starting next month. The prices below are not the usual prices "in 1000-unit tray quantities", but approximate street prices.

Source: HEXUS.net

45nm AMD Processors to get Phenom II SKU

Earlier today, AMD announced the release of its much anticipated enterprise quad-core processor, the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron, codenamed "Shanghai". A regular feature with AMD press releases, is that the PR team details about the products' availability. In this particular release, AMD went a step further and revealed the brand name the company's desktop 45nm processors would carry: Phenom II, when getting into details about the AMD Dragon enthusiast platform. Dragon succeeds Spider, and consists of a Phenom II processor, running on AMD 7-series core logic, along with ATI Radeon HD 4000 series graphics accelerators.

The Phenom II processors will consist of a whole range of quad-core, triple-core and dual-core processors, with the products segregated on the basis of their core count, clock-speed and cache arrangement. Several models are lined-up for launch. The platform itself, as AMD asserts, would release in Q1, 2009. There are signs of the company launching some models of the Phenom II X4 sooner, for which motherboard vendors have already started releasing lists of their existing motherboards that are ready for the processors.

MSI Releases its List of AM3 CPU-compatible Motherboards

MSI released its partial list of motherboards that will support 45nm AM3-socket processors by AMD. The list includes all its AM2+ motherboards based on AMD 7-series and NVIDIA nForce 700a series chipsets. As of now, MSI released beta versions of the BIOS that expands its CPU support base, but it is expected that the company comes out with release-grade BIOS soon. The list, unlike ASUS' list, doesn't leave out any of its flagship motherboards.

Press Release follows:

AMD Maui Platform Makes Market Debut

The company slogan change, from "Smarter Choice" to "The future is fusion" marked a major shift in core-Strategy for AMD. The company now focuses on delivering solutions, more so than mere products, with a solution comprising of several products working together to let the PC serve a purpose. One such solution is the AMD Maui entertainment platform. Maui platform makes AMD hardware work with AMD's own Live! Media Center software to deliver a complete home-theater PC solution.

On the hardware front, Maui includes a qualifying AMD Athlon X2 or Phenom series processor, a motherboard based on the AMD 7-series chipset with integrated graphics. Video is handled by the 7-series IGP, while audio is handled by a special audio component-riser card that has pre-amp circuitry onboard, which enables users to connect speakers in the 5.1 channel configuration directly to the motherboard. Future models would bring in 7.1 channel support. The first motherboard to use this design, is the MSI Media Live DIVA 5.1 780M.

More Details on AMD's 45nm CPU Line-up Revealed

Industry informer DigiTimes shared today some information on the upcoming Deneb processor family from AMD. According to their information, AMD is planning to launch six high-end 45nm quad-core CPUs (Deneb) and four entry-level (Propus) including 20x00, 18x00, 16x00 and 1xx00e models, in the first quarter of next year. Two of these processors will be available earlier in November of this year - the 3GHz Phenom X4 20550 and 2.8GHz 20350 for socket AM2+ systems.
AMD will also launch six 45nm triple-core CPUs (Heka and Regor) including 14x00, 12x00 and 1xx00e series. These triple-core CPUs will enter design validation test (DVT) and start shipping in the first quarter next year.
In the second and third quarter of next year AMD will also start shipping its 45nm AM3-based dual-core CPUs, part of the Regor family.
Although the chipmaker will largely enter the 45nm generation, in order to prevent potential yield rate problems from the new process, it will launch seven 65nm CPUs including three quad-core Phenom X4 CPUs (Agena) – 9950 (120W), 9850 (95W) and 9450e (65W), and two Athlon X2 CPUs (Kuma) – 7750 and 7550 in the first quarter of 2009, while two low-power Athlon X2 CPUs (Brisbane) – 5050e and 3250e, will launch in the near future.
Launching of the new Phenom processors will also lead to new price reductions and last order notices for some of the older processors. Unfortunately, there is no additional information.Source: DigiTimes

AMD Launches Faster X3 8850 and X2 5050e Processors

Today, AMD is announcing two new processors to its products line - AMD Phenom X3 8850 Black Edition and AMD Athlon X2 5050e. The Socket AM2+ triple core X3 8850 (TRAY OPN# HD8850WCJ3BGH) works at 2.5GHz, has a TDP of 95W and 2MB of L3 cache. The Phenom X3 8850 is the first triple-core Phenom processor to be part of the company's Black Edition series and as such it has unlocked multiplier for overclocking. The AMD Athlon X2 5050e (TRAY OPN# ADH5050IAA5DO) is a dual-core 45W processor that operates at 2600MHz.
Sooner or later AMD is also expected to commence shipments of two low-power chips - the single-core 1.6GHz Athlon 2650 (TDP 15W), and the dual-core Athlon X2 3250e, running at 1.5GHz and requiring up to 22W. November will also see AMD's "Ultra-Value Client (UVC) Solutions", the chips that will possibly compete with Intel Atom CPUs for netbooks. These are only for the OEM customers, though.Source: Guru 3D
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