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Review Consensus: AMD FX Processor 8150 Underwhelming

It's been in the works for over three years now. That's right, the first we heard of "Bulldozer" as a processor architecture under development was shortly after the launch of "Barcelona" K10 architecture. Granted, it wasn't possible to load close to 2 billion transistors on the silicon fab technology AMD had at the time, but AMD had a clear window over the last year to at least paper-launch the AMD FX. Delays and bad marketing may have cost AMD dearly in shaping up the product for the market.

After drawing a consensus from about 25 reviews (links in Today's Reviews on the front page), it emerges that:
  • AMD FX-8150 is missing its performance expectations by a fair margin. Not to mention performance gains in its own presentation, these expectations were built up by how AMD was shaping the product to be a full-fledged enthusiast product with significant performance gains over the previous generation
  • AMD ill-marketed the FX-8150. Hype is a double-edged sword, and should not be used if you're not confident your offering will live up to at least most of the hype. AMD marketed at least the top-tier FX-8000 series eight-core processors as the second coming of Athlon64 FX.

FX Turbo Core Technology Bumps Frequency by 1.00 GHz

With Intel's introduction of Turbo Boost technology, a new feature was introduced to the industry, where a processor overclocks itself in short bursts to handle increased CPU loads. AMD quickly followed with its own similar feature, called Turbo Core, with Phenom II X6. With the company's upcoming high-end client FX-series processors, that technology is being given an update. On the FX-series processors, the technology is designed to bump clock speeds by as much as 1.00 GHz over the processor's advertised clock speed, within the processor's TDP headroom.

A company slide reveals that FX-series processors can run all cores at nominal speeds (advertised speeds), all cores at a bumped "Turbo" state, or with half the number of cores running at max turbo speeds with up to 1.00 GHz (5.0x BClk multiplier) increase in clock speeds, with the other half the number of cores in C6 state, completely shut off. Turbo Core ensures increased performance in applications that are designed to work with lesser number of cores, most games come in this category.

Source: DonanimHaber

AMD to Retire Phenom II X6 by December

With its latest generation of client processors just a stone's throw away (into the mist, since there's still uncertainity surrounding the actual launch dates), AMD is preparing to retire its current front-line client processors, the six-core Phenom II X6. A company slide talking about "desktop processor longetivity" shows all current Phenom II X6 models, including 1100T Black Edition, 1090T Black Edition, 1075T, and 1065T, are scheduled for "end of life" (EOL) in Q4 2011, at the very latest by December. When a product reaches EOL, the company stops taking orders from distributors for it, clears outstanding orders, and stops its production. The company will continue to honor any warranty claims in accordance with its warranty terms and conditions.

Source: DonanimHaber

AMD Cuts Down Processor Prices Paving Way for Bulldozer

With the obvious intention to clear out higher-end Phenom II series processors from the market, and to make room for the new upcoming FX-series "Bulldozer" CPUs, AMD introduced a chain of price-cuts affecting all price-points. This comes after the introduction of the new Phenom II X4 980 BE part, earlier this week. The X4 980 BE pushes down prices of nearly all Phenom II X4 and X2 parts, while pulling down six-core models with it.

The six-core X6 1090T Black Edition with unlocked multiplier is priced on par with it, while the 1075T, 1065T, and 1055T are below it. The Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition continues to be the fastest AMD has to offer, and it's just a little over $200, at $205, making it a heck of a deal against Intel Core i5-2500K. All the prices are tabled below.

AMD FX Series and A Series First Performance Projections Surface

Here are the first performance projections of the AMD FX-series processors. FX-series is the market name of the latest line of 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core processors by AMD, based on its new Bulldozer architecture. The performance projections come from AMD's internal presentations to its industry partners, which was leaked to sections of the media.

In the performance projection, a compound bar graph, an AMD platform comprising of an 8-core FX series processor (unknown model, clock speed) with AMD Radeon HD 6670 discrete graphics, was pitted against its main competitor, Intel Core i7-2600K with its integrated Intel HD graphics. Perhaps AMD is suggesting that FX 8-core model used here along with a HD 6690 graphics card costs the same as a Core i7-2600K.

AMD Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results

AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced revenue for the fourth quarter of 2010 of $1.65 billion, net income of $375 million, or $0.50 per share, and operating income of $413 million. The company reported non-GAAP net income of $106 million, or $0.14 per share, and non-GAAP operating income of $141 million. The non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP operating income primarily excluded a net of tax gain of $236 million, and a pre-tax gain of $283 million, respectively, that the company recognized related to a patent license and legal settlement.

For the year ended December 25, 2010, AMD reported revenue of $6.49 billion, net income of $471 million, or $0.64 per share, and operating income of $848 million. Full year non-GAAP net income was $360 million, or $0.49 per share, and operating income was $553 million.

Bulldozer 50% Faster than Core i7 and Phenom II

Here, take some salt. AMD reportedly gave out performance figures in a presentation to its partners, performance figures seen by DonanimHaber. It is reported that an 8-core processor based on the "Bulldozer" high-performance CPU architecture is pitched by its makers to have 50% higher performance than existing processors such as the Core i7 950 (4 cores, 8 threads), and Phenom II X6 1100T (6 cores). Very little is known about the processor, including at what clock speed the processor was running at, much less what other components were driving the test machine.

Taking this information into account, the said Bulldozer based processor should synthetically even outperform Core i7 980X six-core, Intel's fastest desktop processor in the market. Built from ground-up, the Bulldozer architecture focuses on greater inter-core communication and reconfigured ALU/FPU to achieve higher instructions per clock cycle (IPC) compared to the previous generation K10.5, on which its current Phenom II series processors are based. The processor is backed by new 9-series core logic, and a new AM3+ socket. AMD is expected to unveil this platform a little later this year.Source: DonanimHaber

AMD Introduces Phenom II X6 1100T BE, X2 565 BE, Athlon II X3 455

AMD rolled out three new processors today, the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition, Athlon II X3 455, and the Phenom II X2 565 Black Edition. The new flagship of AMD's processor lineup, the Phenom II X6 1100T, is based on the AM3 socket, supporting DDR3 and DDR2 memory on older AM2+ motherboards. It carries a nominal clock speed of 3.30 GHz, is based on the 45 nm "Thuban" silicon, features 512 KB of L2 cache per core, and 6 MB of L3 between all six cores. It features the TurboCore technology, which bumps clock speed by a few hundred MHz when it senses high load. As a Black Edition chip, it features an unlocked bus multiplier. Despite its increased clock speed, the 1100T has a TDP of 125W. This chip goes for US $265.

Next up, is the Phenom II X2 565 Black Edition. Clocked at 3.40 GHz, the X2 565 is based on the Callisto silicon (which is Deneb with two cores locked), featuring 512 KB of cache per core, and 6 MB shared L3 cache. This one has a TDP of 80W, and is priced at US $115. Lastly, there's the Athlon II X3 455, a triple-core chip based on the "Rana" silicon (which is Propus with one core locked), it lacks an L3 cache, but features 512 KB L2 per core. With a TDP of 95W, this one goes for $87.

iBUYPOWER Launches Three Systems with New AMD Radeon 6800 Series Graphics Cards

iBUYPOWER, a leading innovator in gaming PCs, is excited to announce three systems featuring the powerful new AMD 6800 series graphic cards – Gamer Mage D295, Gamer Mage D355, and Gamer Paladin F820. The new DirectX11 compatible cards help create a truly immersive gaming experience by supporting up to 6 monitors with an external display-port hub and 3D video.

“We take pride in always being able to offer our customers the latest in graphics technology,” said Darren Su, Vice President of iBUYPOWER. “That’s why we are excited to be among the first to offer the gamer-friendly AMD Radeon 6000 series graphics cards.”

AMD Reports Third Quarter Results

AMD today announced revenue for the third quarter of 2010 of $1.62 billion, a net loss of $118 million, or $0.17 per share, and operating income of $128 million. The company reported non-GAAP net income of $108 million, or $0.15 per share, and non-GAAP operating income of $144 million.

“AMD’s third quarter performance was highlighted by solid gross margin and a continued focus on profitability, despite weaker than expected consumer demand,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. “Our strategy to deliver platforms with superior visual experiences continues to resonate. We look forward to building on this momentum when we begin shipping our first AMD Fusion Accelerated Processor Units later this quarter.”

AMD Readies Faster Phenom II X6 Models, New Fast Quad-Core Chip

After AMD's recent mass-release of Athlon II and Phenom II series processors that included the Phenom II X6 1070T Black Edition priced at around $250, AMD is working on a new flagship processor that's even faster than the Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition (the current flagship), given the model number Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition (surprise!), and as always, it's yet another speed-bump. This chip is based on the 45 nm Thuban die, and is clocked a whole 100 MHz faster, at 3.30 GHz, with a Turbo Core frequency of 3.70 GHz. Surprisingly, it retains its TDP rating of 125W. As with every other chip based on this die, it features six cores with 128 KB L1, 512 KB L2 dedicated caches, and 6 MB L3 shared cache, it comes in the AM3 package and is backwards compatible with AM2+, supporting dual-channel DDR3-1333 and DDR2-1066 memory standards.

The 1100T Black Edition isn't the only new Phenom II series member down the line, there's the Phenom II X6 1065T (2.90 GHz, non-BE, 3.40 GHz Turbo); the slower Phenom II X6 1045T (2.50 GHz, non-BE, 3.20 GHz Turbo), and the company's next fastest quad-core chip, the Phenom II X4 975 (3.60 GHz, Deneb). It's not known whether the X4-975 is a Black Edition SKU.

Source: Xbit Labs

iBuyPower Launches Two New Phenom II X6 Systems in Limited Edition Dragon Chassis

iBUYPOWER, a leading innovator in gaming PCs, is excited to announce the new limited edition Dragon Chassis, designed in conjunction with AMD. The uniquely wrapped NZXT Lexa enclosure features the metallic AMD Dragon with its piercing red eyes, wings spread and jaws open poised to strike. The AMD Dragon Special Edition Chassis is designed to add an element of lethality to gamers’ lifestyles.

“The AMD Dragon platform delivers the superior performance and stunning visuals gamers demand,” said Darren Su, Vice President of iBUYPOWER. “We are proud to have one of our systems branded with an industry leader like AMD and a striking design any gamer would be proud to take into battle.”

AMD Releases Six New Athlon II, Phenom II Black Edition Processor Models

AMD released six new desktop processor models to the market, these include new SKUs in both Phenom II and Athlon II lines. Older SKUs may have been displaced from their price-points by some of the new models. To begin with, AMD introduced a new value dual-core model, the Athlon II X2 265 (3.30 GHz); triple-core Athlon II X3 450 (3.20 GHz); quad-core Athlon II X4 645 (3.10 GHz). The X2 265 is based on the 45 nm Regor die, it features 2 MB of L2 cache, rated TDP of 65W, and is priced at US $76. The X3 450 is based on the 45 nm Rana die, and is essentially a Propus die with one core disabled. It has TDP rated at 95W, this one goes for $87. The X4 645 makes use of the full Propus die, rated TDP at 95W, priced at $122.

Next up, AMD introduced a new "high-end" six-core model, probably in response to lowering of prices on some Intel Core i7 models such as the i7-860. The new Phenom II X6 1075T Black Edition is essentially the same as the Phenom II X6 1090T, except that it's clocked at 3.00 GHz (200 MHz lower). It is priced at $245. Next, a quad-core model that seems to be in response to Intel's release of the Core i5 760. The Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition is clocked at 3.50 GHz (highest AMD default clock speed till date), and is based on the older Deneb die instead of derivation from Thuban. So there's no Turbo Core feature, but thanks to its Black Edition marker, it has an upwards unlocked BClk multiplier. This SKU displaces the X4 965 BE, and is priced at $185. The speed-bump didn't affect the TDP, which is still at 125W.

Intel Halves Price of Core i7 950, Introduces New Chips

As predicted back in June, Intel has introduced a series of price cuts for a wide range of PC processors. The most notable of these is a 47.6% cut in the price of the Intel Core i7 950 quad-core processor, from US $562 to $294. This heats up competition severely in the $250~$300 bracket with Intel-AMD competition as well as competition among Intel processors of various platforms. In this bracket, you will now find the Core i7 860 priced at $283, Core i7 870 and Core i7 930 at $289; and now Core i7 950 at $294, quite a mix danger-close to each other. If you add AMD to the concoction, the six-core Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition is going for $290. If you're a high-end dual-core fan, Intel has Core i5 670 for you at $299. In addition to this, Intel released some new chips that include Core i3 560 at $138, Pentium Dual Core E6800 at US$86, and Celeron E3500 at $53.

Source: DigiTimes

AMD Silently Deems Phenom II X6 1075T a Black Edition Part, Starts Listing in Europe

AMD has expanded its Phenom II X6 market lineup with the Phenom II X6 1075T Black Edition model (model number: HDT75ZFBGRBOX), which has started hitting stores in Europe for as low as 227.35 EUR. Although the 1075T model has stayed in leaks and BIOS support lists ever since the series first surfaced, it is only now that we get to know that it's a Black Edition part. The chip carries a clock speed of 3.00 GHz, and with its unlocked BClk multiplier, helps with overclocking the chip. AMD already has a higher-priced, higher-clocked model, the 3.20 GHz Phenom II X6 1090T, and there's no indication that 1090T will be displaced from its current price point of ~250 EUR.

Based on the 45 nm "Thuban" die, the Phenom II X6 1075T features six cores, with a nominal speed of 3.00 GHz, that can increase by up to 400 MHz with load thanks to the TurboCore feature, the cores have dedicated L2 caches of 512 KB, and share an L3 cache of 6 MB. The chip comes in the AM3 package, and is backwards compatible with AM2+ socket, it supports both DDR3-1333 MHz and DDR2-1066 memory types, with room for higher frequencies. It has a TDP rated at 125W.

ASRock Designs 890FX and 890GX Based Deluxe4 Motherboards with More USB 3.0 Ports

Closely trailing last week's news of ASRock designing the P55 Extreme4 motherboard that has two sets of 2-port USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers, comes that of the 890FX-Deluxe4 and 890GX-Extreme4. As the names suggest, these motherboards will be based on the AMD 890FX and AMD 890GX chipsets, respectively, supporting socket AM3 processors. Unlike its P55-based counterpart, these boards feature two 2-port USB 3.0 controllers of which one gives out USB 3.0 front-panel header instead of two additional rear panel ports, and since the AMD SB850 southbridge already has a 6-port SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller, there is only one additional 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controller, upping the total number of 6 Gb/s ports to eight.

This apart, the 890FX-Deluxe4 and 890GX-Deluxe4 bear some resemblance to the 890FX-Deluxe3 and 890GX-Extreme3, respectively, in terms of board layout. The boards feature a 10-phase CPU VRM design, support ASRock Turbo UCC (gives Turbo boost to more than 3 cores on Phenom II X6), ASRock UCC (unlocks disabled cores on some X3, X2 processors), and memory ratio supported up to DDR3-1866 MHz by overclocking. The boards also support 3-way and 2-way ATI CrossFireX, and connectivity which includes 8+2 channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, and Firewire. Expect the new Extreme4 motherboards to reach stores in the coming few weeks.

Source: OCWorkbench

Corsair Breaks World Record for Dual-Channel Memory on AMD Phenom II

Corsair, a worldwide supplier of high-performance computer and flash memory products, today announced that the Corsair Dominator GTX4 ultra-high-performance memory module has achieved a new world record for dual-channel memory frequency on AMD processors.

Using an AMD Phenom II X6 Black Edition CPU, Corsair Hydro Series H50 CPU cooler, and a pair of Corsair Dominator GTX4 memory DIMMs with Airflow memory fan, Corsair Labs was able to achieve the world-record memory frequency of 2287.6MHz. Independent validation of this achievement can be found here.

AMD Cancels Phenom II X4 960T Quad-Core Processors Based on Thuban Die

In what could come as a bad news to enthusiasts looking forward to the AMD Phenom II X4 960T "Zosma" quad-core processor, AMD has scrapped plans to release it, at least to the retail market. The chip could still be available to OEM vendors designing their desktop products around it. In a circular to the press, an AMD representative said "I’ve been asked the question about whether there will be a Phenom II X4 960T “Thuban” quad-core by enough individuals, that I think it is a good idea to proactively share the answer to everyone. While there are indeed engineering CPU samples floating around of a 4-core Thuban 960T, I do not expect that processor will be released for general availability. Perhaps it may make its way to OEMs by special request, but that remains to be seen."

Phenom II X4 960T was a certain release from AMD until now. Various motherboard vendors released beta BIOS that could support the chip, and some enthusiasts with access to engineering samples were even successful in unlocking its disabled cores. The prospect of unlocking disabled cores to yield a six-core processor at the price of a typical quad-core processor is what garnered interest among some sections of the enthusiasts. For AMD, the adverse effect Zosma could have on the sales of more expensive Phenom II X6 seems to have outweighed propagating its new Turbo Core technology at more mainstream prices.Source: Legit Reviews

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.

MSI Launches 890FXA-GD70 Motherboard

Extreme audio & video performance and intelligent overclocking are among the most critical demands of power users. Globally-renowned mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI have unveiled their all-new 890FXA-GD70 and AMD 800 series mainboards. Featuring ultimate stability, easy overclocking and extreme performance, these boards targets advanced users who demand ultimate performance and beyond with overclocking.

The 890FXA-GD70 features AMD's latest SB850 southbridge chipset support and server-grade, Military Class specifications for the ultimate performance platform. Also included is the OC Genie intelligent overclocking utility, designed by MSI especially for the AMD platform. With the Unlock CPU Core function, consumers can enjoy ultimate performance at a reasonable price by taking their tri-core processor and making it into a quad-core. The 890FXA-GD70 also fully supports the latest generation USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s transfer technologies that boost high capacity file transfer speed and quality to future standards. In addition, the environmentally conscious and economical DrMOS design is also included (on select models only) making this mainboard a must buy for the enthusiast.

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.”
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